Over the Hill

I found the Capitol Letters title “California’s Political Geezers Strike a Blow for the Geriatric Set” insulting and demeaning. And why is Pelosi the “Grandma of the House?” She is the Speaker. I don’t remember anyone ever speaking of a male speaker as the “Grandpa of the House.” John Boehner was congratulated in Huffpost on being a grandfather when he was speaker, but it wasn’t the way they wrote about him as a politician. If you want to talk about Pelosi being a grandmother please do — she modeled the warmth and inclusion we hope grandmothers embody when she asked all the children in the House to join her as she accepted the gavel.

Also, “octogenarian brigade” for Senator Feinstein? You can accurately call her an octogenarian and not make it sound like buckets are being passed along a line.

What is being said by older politicians is that experience is a good thing. Hard to argue with that, no matter what age we are. More to the point though, instead of being so snarky it would help all of us to view pairing wisdom with enthusiasm as a good thing. At any age we can learn form those who have lived longer. We can also learn from those younger, who see things in fresh ways because they don’t have the same group think. Please focus on that next time you want to write about the different ages of politicians. How we come together, not how we are at opposite ends of a spectrum, is how we will fix polarization in our country.

Merriam-Webster: geezer: U.S., humorous or mildly disparaging: a queer, odd, or eccentric person — used especially of elderly men.

Synonyms for geriatric include: over-the-hill … outmoded.

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