Much ink has been spilled lately on the subject of old age. Not surprisingly, our elderly president has been the topic of many of these stories, given his tendency to doddle, ramble incoherently and otherwise define the image of a guy who's "over the hill."
Those very words make up the title of an 1872 poem by Will Carleton that begins: "Over the hill to the poorhouse I'm trudgin' my weary way/ I a woman of seventy and only a trifle gray…" Joe is a little older than seventy and certainly not on his way to the poorhouse, if even a fraction of the allegations of his money-grubbing prove to be true.
Life has been good to Joe, and I'm happy about that. But there comes a point in everyone's life when it's time to pass the baton on to the younger generation. We old people, and I am even older than Joe, like to think that we possess some sort of ancient wisdom without which the world would surely grind to a halt in a matter of minutes should we fade away. This is not true. Wiser men than we have traversed this earth and are now enjoying their eternal reward yet the globe continues spinning.
Age is relative, more than a matter of mere numbers. This is evident in the youthful activities and lively repartee of former President Trump, who's just a couple years younger than Joe. Some show their age more than others, Senators Feinstein (90) and McConnell (81) seem to fade in and out of consciousness while Rupert Murdoch (92) is wise and alert enough to know it's time to hand over the reins of the empire he has so diligently crafted over the years to his son, Lachlan. Nobelist Henry Kissinger (100) is still consulted on world affairs by those who value the depth of his experience.
Meanwhile, the relatively young and sprightly Chuck Schumer (73), a man who never met an idiocy he couldn't embrace, has unleashed the whirlwind he threatened on Chief Justice Roberts during the Dobbs controversy by acceding to the sartorial preferences of the even younger John Fetterman (54), thereby allowing senators of these United States to attire themselves however they please, in pajamas, loose jeans with underwear showing, t-shirts, Speedos, even a bikini, as one lady senator threatened to wear to the august chamber.
This is idiocy, folks. Let's go ahead and make a big dumb joke of the whole country while we're at it. Media talking heads and print pundits won't tell you it, but the world laughs at us, behind our back, in front of us and all around. It's amusing to read or hear on TV that "President Biden did this," or "Biden did that," when in fact we all know that Biden doesn't do anything except sit on the beach when he's not napping at the White House. I hope someone tells him winter is coming and it's time to head back to warmth and security of the basement.
As a senior citizen, and in relatively good health thanks to some excellent physicians, I feel singularly blessed to be able to play a decent round of golf with much younger friends and to still enjoy my daily martini. I have written two books in the past three years and I'm contemplating a third. Meanwhile I'm installing new baseboards in my condo and reading at least a book a week. Just for kicks I memorized the Our Father in nine different languages and the Kaddish in Hebrew. I say these every night in humble thanksgiving.
But I'm not alone and I'm not bragging. There are millions like me, vibrant and lively, enjoying every moment of God's great gift of life, challenging their crusty old brains with difficult tasks. And, sadly, there are millions like Joe, who often don't know where they are or who you are. They deserve our sympathy and our honesty.
I have no secrets of longevity; perhaps there are none to be had. It's like a winning poker hand or a grand slam in bridge or a hole in one (which in almost 70 years of golf I have yet to achieve.)
There is nothing I can do except get on my knees (getting up is the hard part) and thank Almighty God for the many blessings that I, a most unworthy servant and constant sinner, have received totally from his goodness and through absolutely no merit of my own. My life is His gift. It is in His hands. He knows it, and so do I. And I never forget it.
As the greatest mayor ever, Richard J. Daley of Chicago, frequently said, "It's easy to criticize, but where are your plans?" And he was right. It's easy to poke fun at Joe, to laugh and joke about his gaffes and lies. But laughing and joking solve nothing. They are mere amusements that make us feel somehow superior.
Old Joe was never the brightest bulb in the chandelier of life, but he made the most of his limited abilities through cleverness and guile. It's sad that he is now no more than a pawn of malevolent actors, Soros and Obama come to mind, and as such he does not deserve our ridicule. He deserves our pity.