Time for Geezers to Go?

Somebody told me, “You’ve touched a nerve.”

Last week, I wrote a blog/newspaper column titled “We’re Governed by Geezers“. I noted how old our leaders are today and how dominant Baby Boomers are in politics. I said, “It’s time to pass the torch.”

That post got more comments than almost anything else I’ve written.

Not surprisingly, younger readers agreed. One emailed: “I have a regular breakfast group that is comprised entirely of Gen Xers. We are reading ‘A Generation of Sociopaths.’ This (the blog) could be the Cliff Notes.”

I looked up the book. The full title is “A Generation of Sociopaths: How the Baby Boom Betrayed America”

It doesn’t sound very complimentary.

Another person wrote, “No offense, Gary, but GenX would like y’all to get out of the way and let us fix this s–t.” 

Someone added, “Pu-leeze.”

Another said, “The Boomers have more than had their shot at leading. It’s time to pass the gavel. Now.”

I sense some hostility.

One GenXer (I think), said, “Yes, but not until after this election.”

Some of my peers joined the chorus: “This 65-year-old agrees with you.”

A high school classmate recommended reading “The Baby Boom” by P.J. O’Rourke, one of the funniest writers around. Subtitle: â€œHow It Got That Way…And It Wasn’t My Fault…And I’ll Never Do It Again.”

A Republican friend reminded me, “Johnny Edwards was 45 when you got him elected.”

True. And Jim Hunt was 39 when he got elected Governor.

Jim Hunt was elected Governor at age 39

I was reminded that some things never change. Back in 2009, Scott Mooneyham wrote a column about the North Carolina General Assembly: “Legislators Look Bit Long of Tooth”

He wrote then, “57 of the 170 House and Senate members are now 65 years old or older. A decade ago, the number was 46 and two decades ago 37.”

One Geezer, who’s got about 10 years on me, was philosophical about aging: “Frankly, I think it’s a pretty nice place to be.  When I forget something now, I have an excuse.  When I have an occasional good idea, I’m pleased when those around me think I’ve still got it. And, best of all, my grandchildren treat me with a little more respect.”

Still, he added, “my kids don’t get it yet.”

Some Geezers were defiant: “Joe Biden is 2 years older than I am. I may be tapping mid-70 but I damn well feel like I’m in my early 50s!” She added, “We are activists, precinct officials, phone-bankers, fund-raisers and more. And we love it. Joe Biden is one of us!”

And there was this from fellow columnist D.G. Martin of Chapel Hill: “80 is the new 40. I’m not passing the torch just yet.”

I like your spirit, D.G.

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