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Published:July 21st, 2008 16:24 EST
Nothing Wrong With Poking Fun At John McCain's Age

Nothing Wrong With Poking Fun At John McCain's Age

By Robert Paul Reyes

"Age discrimination and harassment are illegal in the United States. Illegal in the workplace, that is, but not in politics.

Sen. John McCain`s age (he`s only 71, for goodness` sake) is a nagging issue in his presidential campaign, enough so that McCain age jokes have become a hackneyed staple of late-night television.

"John McCain is crisscrossing the United States campaigning," Jay Leno offered in a recent shameless bit of age harassment. "Or as they`re calling it, `Antiques Roadshow.` "

And this from David Letterman: "Sen. McCain ... is in Iraq. Of course, he remembers Iraq when it was known as Mesopotamia."

But you won`t hear comedians cracking jokes about Barack Obama and soul food, or Hillary Clinton and menopause. Harassment based on sex and race is considered out of bounds in today`s more enlightened society. Geriatric topics are fair game."

Quotation from Gerald D Skoning/Chicago Tribune

Age should be one of the factors voters consider when determining who is best suited to serve as the President of the United States.

Age discrimination is illegal, and if the Republican National Convention failed to nominate McCain because of his age, that would be blatant discrimination. But poking fun at McCain`s advanced age is not discrimination, every candidate is ridiculed for one reason or another.

Skoning argues that McCain is "only 71", that`s like contending that Oprah Winfrey is not fat because she`s only 100 pounds overweight. Political correctness often means that you disregard reality; I`m sorry but 71 is freakin` old.

It`s patently idiotic to suggest McCain`s age shouldn`t matter, at some point a person will simply be too old to be president. What if McCain were 81, 91 or 101? By Skoning`s flawed logic it would be ageism to state that a 101-year-old man is too old to be leader of the free world.

It`s McCain`s many mental lapses that makes us worry about his age. McCain likes to boast how many times he`s been to Iraq, but he still can`t tell a Shiite from a Sunni. The other day on national TV McCain referred to the Iraq/Pakistan border, any high school kid knows that Iraq does not border Pakistan.

Skoning points out that you won`t hear comics joke about Obama`s race or Hilary`s gender. Of course not, because Obama`s race and Hillary`s gender have absolutely nothing do with their ability to serve in the White House. But McCain`s age does impact his ability to handle the most stressful job in the world.

I`m not voting for McCain for a whole litany of reasons, and that includes the fact that he`s too damn old. That doesn`t make me guilty of discrimination, it simply means I have common sense and I`m not a slave to political correctness.