Is it Wrong to Call John McCain Old?

May 12 2008 Published by under Featured News

Sometimes when I write about Republican presidential candidate John McCain’s age in a less than flattering way, I get accused of ageism, so is it fair to call John McCain old? John McCain was born on August 29, 1936. By the time he accepts the Republican nomination in September, he will be 72 years old.

If McCain would win the election he would be the oldest person ever sworn into office. He would be 76 years old if he ran for reelection and 80 if he served two terms. The average life expectancy for an American male is 75 years old. I don’t see how it isn’t fair to talk about McCain’s age in this context.

John McCain would have one of the most stressful jobs on the planet. The presidency is a position that ages it holders 3 years for every one year served. This means that should McCain serve one full term his body would age equivalent to that of an 84 year old man. McCain often points to his 90 + year old mother as a sign of his potential longevity, but his father died at age 70.

Some people will claim that bringing up of McCain’s age is ageism. Ageism is defined as stereotyping or discriminating against a person solely because of their age. If I said that John McCain should not be allowed to run for president, because he is too old, this would be an example of ageism. If I said that McCain should retire to his rocking chair, or that he is senile, this again would be ageism.

John McCain has every right to run for president, but the voters have every right to decide if they want to elect a man who very possibly could die in office. Do the American people want to elect a man who at best may be a one termer?

Many conservatives start whining about the unfairness of bringing up McCain’s age, but I think this is a more valid characteristic to weigh than Barack Obama’s middle name. By the way, those who refer to Obama as Barack Hussein Obama are only trying to link Obama with Saddam Hussein whom conservatives falsely linked to terrorism and 9/11.

The reality is that John McCain is old. His problem is that he is running to be president of a country that glorifies beauty and youth. As long as his critics avoid stereotypes, I see nothing wrong with discussing his age.

It would be a shame if John McCain was rejected because of his age instead of his ideas, but it would just as bad if Obama lost because of his race and/or middle name.

So call me an ageist if you want, but I still believe that John McCain is too old. Even if McCain was 10 years younger, I would not vote for him. I disagree with his political positions. Age isn’t my deciding factor, but it certainly could be for some voters this November.

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