Another Lame Excuse - Trump's Age

Another Lame Excuse - Trump's Age

Ever more often, one hears throughout the media folks grasping for something to explain the raw, distinctive and unsettling behavior of Donald Trump. Almost daily, while wrestling with one or another off-the-wall statement or action, someone will raise his age, followed by “of course one must take into consideration that he is over 70,” as though that in and of itself explained it all.

But that’s a cop out. Donald Trump’s age has very little to do with his persona, his utterances, and his actions. Settling on his age to explain all that he says and does is tantamount to dismissing all older people. It is, simply, a stereotype of the worst of kind, and damning one group of talented and able Americans for the sins of this one man. Beyond ageism, it is ignorance. The man is unique and his persona is unlike anyone else’s.

And, one must remember that many leaders today are pretty close in age to Trump. Putin is 64, Merkel 62, Xi Jingping 64, Narenda Modi 66. Also, more than half the senators up for reelection in 2016 will be over 65 and it will be an even larger group in 2020. So, let’s lay off older people, many of whom are as able as those many years younger.

My own preference would be to fall back on illness or developmental lapses to explain the man and his actions. But that too would be unfair to many, many other groups of people.

Let’s see the man as one-of-a-kind and stop making excuses for him.

Daniel Socolow
Daniel Socolow: President, Socolow Group. Former Director of the MacArthur Fellows Program, President of the American University of Paris, Vice President of Spelman College. BA, MA, Ph.D.

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