You will definitely find many more eloquently and well informed written articles or posts on the state of American politics and the historic implications of Apprentice boss Donald Trump winning the most powerful seat in the free world; but despite the orgasmic media exaggeration and excitement there was one issue throughout the presidential campaign I found to be most fascinating but largely overlooked by our poor servicing mass media…
As an outsider to US politics I feel the election represented a little more than just gender, the one thing I found most notable regarding both candidates, was not prior distasteful “locker room” talk or the mismanagement of e-mails but the age of both candidates.
Donald Trump is 70 years old and will be the oldest person to be sworn in as president of the United States; Hilary Clinton is 69, at a time when most western cultures consider this to be the time of retirement. I find it impressive that anyone would choose to embark on the beginnings of a career at this time of life. Any regular readers of my blog know I am very critical of our poor serving mass media but following the presidential campaign was as refreshing as hearing Adele sing an uptempo song because I did not witness or read any bias based on age.
Living in our youth obsessed culture I have felt, for a while now, there has been an evolutionary social attitude shift of older people and the more time moves us forward the more fashion, lifestyle, health consciousness, sexuality, personal philosophies and new perspectives of experiencing the world are formed based on previous expectations that were not always relevant.
There are a multitude of reasons I can’t hope to cover within my usual 500 – 600 word limit, although I think some of the main indicators are to do with the decision to bring forth life and our prolonged inevitable deaths. It is undeniable that increasing advancements in medicine, nutrition and health play a role, which has contributed to a mass explosion of older populations. Just ask the National Institute on Aging who claim that the 85+ demographic is estimated to increase 351% between 2010 and 2050.
That being said although an older mother (35+) isn’t anything new, modern living has provided us with increased opportunities to live an extended existence, the rates of women choosing to start motherhood later in life has not only doubled in the last ten years but it is women over thirty-five who have the fastest growing birth rates of any other age category.
With inherent increased life expectancy comes certain freedoms, more time means less pressure to follow mainstream societal equations, in an attempt to bind us by formulaic results. Young adults stay at home with their parents a little longer, marriage isn’t something that is necessarily done as soon as you turn 18, potential parents now have the option to start families in their mid 30’s and grandparents are more likely to still be working and have a pretty decent social life.
It’s good to know that older members of society keep pushing the limits of social boundaries and expectation, so that we may continue to see more people like model Carmen Dell’Orefice (85) comic creator Stan Lee (93) actress Betty White (94) or marathon runners like Fauja Singh (105) as the rule rather than the exception.
So as your Facebook feed is filled with comments of genuine concern, outrage and slight exaggeration as the world attempts to analyse and dissect the course of global affairs over the next four years; the dust will settle as we realise half the American population (nor its celebrities) won’t relocate to Canada, temporary knee jerk stock market “reactions” mean nothing in the long term and our home planet of Earth (which has been turning for a few billion years now) will not come to an end but continue to age, adapt and evolve over time, just as we will, if we are fortunate.
Until next time.
What a refreshing way of looking at it.
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Thanks! It’s tough because I never thought that Trump would make it into power, but that is the one positive I can pull from this whole experience! lol!
With myself being from Canada it was interesting observing the campaigning and election from up here. The age demographics are definitely changing. I am approaching 60 but feel the best I have ever felt due to lifestyle changes. Retirement does not seem to fit in the equation.
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That is so good to hear, I feel we are all still evolving and 40, 50, 60…etc today..is not the same as it was a decade go. We still have so much to offer especially as we get older. 😊
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Hmmm… a few thoughts here. First, politicians embarking on first time leaderships in their later years is nothing new. You’d have to look at the ages of American presidents to check those but here in the UK, older Prime Ministers were the norm til only fairly recently. Most were in their sixties or seventies. (Churchill was one of the oldest – and he did his second term at age 77 I believe).
People are most definitely living longer and a lot does have to do with healthcare and medical progress. That said, it depends a lot on genetics – if there is longevity in a family then there is the likelihood that it will continue through the coming generations. But if the majority of people in a family die young (and by ‘young, I mean starting in their fifties) then that’s, sadly, unlikely to happen.
The way to look at aging and people who are getting older than the previous ideas of ‘old’ is that we are actually no different from younger people except for our experiences (which, equally, are different from each others’ in the same peer group) and our health. There’s an idea (with a stigma attached to it) that all people past a certain age are senile or demented, and that is simply not true. The body does start to go but the mind stays the same.
There was a (British) guy who recently lived well past 100 (to 111 or 112, I think). He experienced both world wars and lived through so many different times. yet right to the end he exercised every day and his mind was lively. When asked what it was like to be his age, he said “same as any other age”.