While talking with a friend this morning, she commented on how I sounded like a new person. More like my old good humored self. The reason, if indeed it was true, is because of the relief of finally finding out what is wrong with my hip. We talked about how even minor aches and pains can affect our patience, tolerances and moods. We both have what I'd suppose is an average amount for women of our age - and we're well aware of how we behave and how others react to that behavior.
Then I checked my e-mail and found a note from my friends at Beacon Press. I did a book review for them awhile back. 60 On Up: The Truth About Aging in America by Lillian Rubin is a no holds barred dissertation on the realities of aging.
She is now asking why it is politically incorrect to apply those facts to John McCain. Her observations, on Beacon Broadside are sound. John McCain is by all considerations, old.
He has suffered physically and mentally more than most of us ever will, what's more be able to imagine. He is bound to be affected by that treatment as his physical prowess and mental acuity acquiesce to the aging process.
To be concerned about this should not be politically incorrect nor anti-McCain or any other label his campaign will put on it as time passes. It should be considered a prudent evaluation of his ability to sustain the rigors of the job.
I watch as he makes inappropriate jokes, I look at the advisers who surround him, I listen as he gets his facts confused and think, "This is only the campaign." I think about his temper, his denial of his own actions and wonder if he is in this mode at this point what will happen if he wins? And those aches and pains kick in? I don't want him doped up on meds to disguise them from us. I don't want him making crucial decisions while under their influence and I sure as heck don't want him contemplating war or dealing with our adversaries when his temper is short and nerves frayed.
Any President will have these types of moments, you might argue. True. But don't think for one minute they aren't magnified by age.