I’m in my early 30s so I’m forced to believe that my experience has value when weighed against the inexperience of others. I suppose that pride in experience explains why I wanted to yell “hell yeah!” while watching Bill Maher talk about the evils of ageism and our youth obsessed culture on Real Time last night. It’s either that or I simply envy those who are still in their early 20s and I like watching people swipe at them.
Obviously, I’m conflicted, but I’m not entirely sure what’s motivating Maher’s rant, either. He seems to think that California Governor Jerry Brown would be the go-to presidential candidate for democrats in 2016 if not for his age. Brown is 76. Hillary Clinton, whose picture Maher used as an example of who the likely democratic front-runner will be, is 67. If elected President, Clinton would be the second oldest person to take office.
Pivoting off of Brown, Maher opened up the discussion to mention a few lofty accomplishments by people in their later years while slamming Lindsey Lohan and Lourde’s appearance. He does this after uttering these strong words.
“To seriously assume that just because Jerry Brown is 76, he can’t be President — that is a terrible prejudice, and stupid, because age is always relative.”
Maher has actually spoken about ageism in politics before. The difference is, back then, he seemed like he was in favor of it.
That’s a clip from last June of Maher chiding Rep. John Dingell and Rep. Ralph Hall for being “unconscious on the job” before he says of Hall:
“Congressman Ralph Hall of Texas is 90, and he’s running for re-election. Which would be cool if he was one of those spry old guys who does the crossword and plays tennis every morning, but he’s not that guy. He said recently he doesn’t believe in climate change, and that “I’m really more fearful of freezing”. Yes, ’cause you’re 90!”
The thing is, in the session prior to Maher’s segment, Rep. Hall missed no votes and he only missed 1 between July of 2012 and July of 2013. Dingell missed more votes, but to say he was “unconscious on the job” is an exaggeration and it seems like a generalization about older politicians, even though Maher goes out of his way to say that his remarks aren’t about age. This is right after he says, with regard to the controversy that had popped up about Cory Booker’s rumored plans to run for Senator Frank Lautenberg’s seat before the Senator died:
“Really? Really?? The guy who runs into burning buildings shouldn’t take over for the other guy who can’t blow on a piece of paper and make it move across the table?”
I appreciate Maher’s point about legislative lifers, but it’s a bit weird to go from those sentiments in 2013 to this conclusion last night:
“Whatever, fine! You can have it all, but not governing. 78 should not be too old to be President. Wisdom isn’t something you can just google and governing is where we need wisdom.”
And another thing, tell Sir Mix-a-lot that millennials invented our big ass fixation and see what he says. Baseball, apple pie, and the butt. That’s America.