LJWorld.com weblogs Vantage Point
Driving Mr. President
Age may be a protected issue when it comes to hiring practices, but for the highest position in the U.S. government, age could be a deciding factor. John McCain's and Barack Obama's ages - 72 and 47 respectively - offer a contrast in perception and can ultimately decide the voting.An older person is often looked on as wise and blessed with life experience that can provide guidance to the younger generation. While this perception might hold true, the reality is that many of us don't really use that in our daily lives. It's more adventurous to try something new and exciting despite the possibility of failure. How many times have we gone against our parents' advice?One of the most fascinating things about this culture is how the advertisers go after the 18- to 30-year-olds as their prime target. This in a country where many in that age group are still trying to "find themselves." The elderly, who for the most part have the monetary resources to choose their life style are ignored or, to put it in a more hip term, "dissed."When it comes to the presidency, I am a bit troubled by the age factor. For all of John McCain's vast experience and valor, he is advanced in his years more than any other candidate in history. That could also mean that he is somewhat set in his ways and could be reluctant to change. Much has been said about his inability to use a computer, and while it could be because of his war injuries, it could affect the perception of the younger generation. While the inability to use a computer does not disqualify him from the job, it builds on the perception that he is not capable of understanding the challenges of the modern era. I'm confident in his ability to thwart the enemy's attack via weapons, but I'm not sure he has the know-how to handle cyber crimes. Does he even know how to protect against a Trojan Horse?While Obama's life experiences pale in comparison to McCain's, he comes across as vibrant and as someone who can adapt to the fast and furious change in the world of technology. I'm confident that the world will become smaller, mainly because of the advances in technology. This is an area that could prove critical. McCain will employ the resources that will enable him to keep up with the speed of technological advances, but there is something to be said about being able to understand and use them.I'm one who believes that a senior citizen should have to take a driving test every year after the age of 75 to ensure that he still has the mental and physical aptitude to drive. I've personally seen many elderly drivers put others in harm's way because they are not competent to drive. If an elderly person can lose the competence to drive, is it then too far fetched to worry that a president in advanced years could wane in his ability to lead?I'm sure neither Obama nor McCain will do his own driving, but it is so much easier for me to picture the silver-headed McCain, with his simple smile, dressed in his fine black suit, sitting in the back of a car, and Morgan Freeman, looking back in the rear view mirror and asking, "Where to, Mr. President?"