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Where are the mature types?

February 11, 2016
By Joyce Schenk , Westfield Republican

The economics expert on the evening news confidently detailed methods for solving the government's financial problems. But instead of listening, I was simply staring.

How could this kid, who looked like he was on a break from his high school debating team, even balance a check book, much less offer advice on national finances?

I closed my eyes and tried to pay attention. It didn't help.

The high-pitched voice, which broke from time to time, simply made me think this youngster was impersonating an adult.

A few days later, I had the opportunity to speak with the manager of a large store. When he met me at the customer service desk, I had to fight the urge to say, "OK, son, how about sending the real manager out."

But I learned this young kid, who looked like he might be taking a break from his first newspaper route, had managed the busy store for several years.

What's become of all the mature types who used to run the world? Where are the Walter Cronkites? Who has taken the place of father figures like Ben Cartwright? Where did Captain Kangaroo go?

There was a time, and it doesn't seem very long ago, when the President of the United States really looked like an elder statesman. Where are the furrowed brows and calming attitude of a Franklin D. Roosevelt or a Harry Truman?

Even George H. W. Bush had the look of a leader. And Barbara was the very picture of the country's grandmother, a great image for a First Lady.

Regardless of their politics, these leaders had one major asset that today's young president doesn't have. They had the good grace to be older than me!

In fact, all my life, I've been convinced that doctors, dentists, judges all the "in control" figures in my world... should have been born at least a few years before me.

Some time ago, I took my arthritic knee problems to a doctor with long and impressive credentials. When the white-coated physician entered the room, I couldn't help feeling I was being cared for by a child prodigy. He must have been the inspiration behind "Doogie Howser."

Of course, in the realm of computers, I realized long ago that age is not a requirement for expertise. Most of the computer geniuses I've come across are either using their first pair of heels or their first electric razor. It's a field where youth reigns. The proof can be seen in that well-known computer guru Bill Gates. Barely showing any grey hair, he still walks with that youthful spring in his step that I lost at least 30 years ago.

But computers aside, the other areas of life that demand authority figures seem more and more to be populated by the young and wrinkle-less.

How is it possible that those running the country now are getting younger and younger while I feel older and older?

I've decided in the coming presidential election, I'm taking things into my own hands. Forget about the platforms. Forget about the parties. I plan a write-in for maturity and confidence.

My vote will go to Billy Graham. At least he looks the part.



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