The age issue

By Alex P. Vidal

“You can’t help getting older, but you don’t have to get old.”—George Burns

OLD age was never an issue in the recent Philippine presidential race, unlike in the United States.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is 64 and will only be 70 when his term expires in 2028, while Vice President Sara Duterte-Carpio is 44 and will only be 50 in 2028.

In the United States, aside from the economy, immigration, climate change, Roe v. Wade debate, gun control, the other “major” issue now being raised in the 2024 presidential election is age—old age, that is.

Business Insider and Yahoo News both have reported that in the United States, a concern about age has been raised by some as the 2024 presidential election could feature two candidates—reelectionist President Joe Biden and the “comebacking” Donald Trump.

The two septuagenarians would serve into their 80s if either individual wins that year.

Per an earlier New York Times report, as President Biden looks to run for reelection, some Democrats — already alarmed by his middling approval ratings heading into the 2022 midterm elections — have questioned whether he should seek reelection in 2024.


“If Biden—who will turn 80 later this year—were to be reelected in 2024, he would be 82 years old at the time of his inauguration in January 2025. And he’d be 86 at the end of his second term,” the Insider’s John L. Dorman reported.

“Former President Trump, who turned 76 years old last month, would be 78 in November 2024. If he captured the GOP nomination and won the White House in 2024, he would celebrate his 80th birthday in office.”

It would be “inappropriate” for candidates to run for the White House in their 80’s,” former presidential adviser David Gergen was quoted in the report as saying.

“I do feel it’s inappropriate to seek that office after you’re 80 or in your 80s,” he told The New York Times. “I have just turned 80 and I have found over the last two or three years I think it would have been unwise for me to try to run any organization.”


WHO IS JOHN GALT IN OUR SOCIETY? This is the astounding story of a man who said that he would stop the motor of the world–and did.

Atlas Shrugged is a massive paean to capitalism and depicts a world where corporate CEOs and one-percenters are the selfless heroes upon which our society depends, and basically everyone else—journalists, legislators, government employees, the poor—are the villains trying to drag the rich down out of spite, when we should be kissing their rings in gratitude that they allow us to exist.

Rand’s protagonists are Dagny Taggart, heir to a transcontinental railroad empire, and Hank Rearden, the head of a steel company who’s invented a revolutionary new alloy which he’s modestly named Rearden Metal.

Together, they battle against evil government bureaucrats and parasitic socialists to hold civilization together, while all the while powerful industrialists are mysteriously disappearing, leaving behind only the cryptic phrase “Who is John Galt?”


Atlas Shrugged is a work of fiction, but as far as many prominent conservatives are concerned, it’s sacred scripture.

Alan Greenspan was a member of Rand’s inner circle, and opposed regulation of financial markets because he believed her dictum that the greed of businessmen was always the public’s best protection.

Some politicians have required their staffers to read the book, while others have announced grandiose plans to build their own real-life “Galt’s Gulch,” the hidden refuge where the book’s capitalist heroes go to watch civilization collapse without them.

Reading Atlas Shrugged is like entering into a strange mirror universe where everything we thought we knew about economics and morality is turned upside down.

We’ve already learned some valuable lessons from it.


(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two local dailies in Iloilo.—Ed)