10. REDUCED INEQUALITIES

Biden versus Trump: An Age of Ageism?

Biden versus Trump: An Age of Ageism?
Written by ZJbTFBGJ2T

Biden versus Trump: An Age of Ageism?  Daily Maverick

Biden versus Trump: An Age of Ageism?

Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be, the last of life, for which the first was made:

Our times are in his hand who saith, ‘A whole I planned, youth shows but half;

Trust God: See all, nor be afraid!’ ― Robert Browning

Introduction

Like so many others, the writer is a certified member of the massive baby boom generation. I was born in 1949, and the baby boom includes all the children born between 1946 and 1964. This group comprises the offspring of all those millions of World War 2 military personnel who returned home, married, and very quickly began families. To a considerable degree, this baby boom occurred around the world, as can be seen among the birth statistics of the combatants in the war.

The Impact of the Baby Boom Generation

The baby boom generation – in all its manifestations – had vastly important impacts on society, the economy, politics and government. No baby boom would have meant no rock ’n roll, no years of youth rebellion beginning in the 1960s and running on into the 1970s, and few of those vast waves of mass consumerism and the demands for such products all around the world.

Concerns of the Aging Baby Boomers

The leading edge of this generation is now closing in on its 80th birthday. The inevitability of their lives beginning to reach their terminus increasingly occupies the attention of a growing number of that generation. Their concerns are less about the challenges of the distant future and all those mountains to climb, and more about the here and now – including their growing health and medical concerns and conditions and the ability of any pensions and savings to carry them through the final years of their lives with dignity.

Old Power

Meanwhile, the nation’s political leadership largely still seems to come from that same baby boom generation – and with some in leadership positions from even earlier. This generation is doggedly reluctant to surrender its political power, despite unrelenting pressure from the calendar and succeeding generations.

Generational Change in Politics

This is not a unique phenomenon, although the sheer breadth and expanse of it because of the size of the baby boom generation can make it seem so. Back in 1960, in that year’s US presidential election, the 43-year-old Massachusetts Senator John F Kennedy had campaigned that it was “time to get America moving again” and that there was a need to inject some “vigour” into the body politic, after the “silent generation’s” seemingly lotus-eating slumber of the 1950s.

Kennedy’s rallying cry was it was time for “a new generation of Americans” – someone like himself, battle tested in World War 2, still young, attractive to voters – to take charge. As an avatar of this new generation, Kennedy could show his energy through athleticism and a kind of gentleman’s outdoor life of sailing and roiling games of family touch football. (That was a more modern echo of the athletic style of an earlier president, Theodore Roosevelt, back at the beginning of the 20th century, although his included rugged camping, hunting and fishing.)

In the end, Kennedy narrowly won his election against Vice President Richard Nixon, another member of the cohort of returning World War 2 veterans. (Kennedy’s service in the navy as a daring torpedo patrol boat captain in the Solomon Islands had been heroic, and it became an important element of his popular appeal despite his having had a distinctly modest legislative career.)

In winning the election, Kennedy had succeeded a much older Dwight Eisenhower, the man who had commanded the entire western allied army in its race across Europe, from D-Day onward. It represented a true generational change.

A military career of some sort was seemingly needed for success. Every president after Franklin Roosevelt, right up to George HW Bush, had served in the military during World War 1 or 2, or immediately thereafter, as did Jimmy Carter. Carter had been commissioned as an officer in the navy and then, later, a specialised nuclear power engineering officer, following his graduation from the naval academy, just as the war ended. (Earlier on, Harry Truman, who had succeeded Franklin Roosevelt as president upon the latter’s death in 1945, had been an artillery captain in World War 1. And yes, truth is important. Ronald Reagan had fought his battles on the back lots of Hollywood movie studios in films about the war, even though he reportedly began believing the story lines himself, it has been said.)

By the time Bill Clinton was elected president in 1992, the string of World War 2 military veterans had run its course, ending with George HW Bush. By contrast, Clinton had avoided the draft for the Vietnam conflict through student deferments. By contrast, unsuccessful presidential candidates who had been Vietnam veterans have included Al Gore, John Kerry and John McCain, a naval pilot and then POW in Hanoi. Perhaps the fact that Vietnam was not a conflict America had been victorious in has had a dampening impact, with Vietnam-era veteran candidates never attracting the deep, popular embrace in quite the same way as the heroes of a winning global conflict.

In fact, historically, in a similar pattern to the post-World War 2 period, a century earlier, following the Civil War (1861-65), virtually every president between Ulysses Grant (elected in 1868) and William McKinley, elected at the end of the 19th century, save for Grover Cleveland, had been on active military service during the Civil War in the Union army.

After McKinley, a new generation of politicians, beginning with Theodore Roosevelt, rose to prominence. Only in his youthful forties and with an active, young family, Roosevelt took office when McKinley was assassinated in 1901. Roosevelt had managed to create a brief military career for himself when he led a volunteer force in the Spanish-American War of 1898, the so-called Rough Riders.

Septuagenarian v Octogenarian

Returning to our current moment, many politicians of the baby boom generation – and even a few coming along from a few years before that – seem unwilling to step back from their public offices to make space for a newer generation to take up leadership roles. Many seem to be prepared to surrender to the calendar only when they have been defeated in an election – or die.

Interestingly, among the newer generation of politicians, perhaps similar to the circumstances of Vietnam conflict service, military service in either Iraq or Afghanistan has only infrequently boosted the campaign bona f

SDGs, Targets, and Indicators

1. Which SDGs are addressed or connected to the issues highlighted in the article?

  • SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4: Quality Education
  • SDG 5: Gender Equality
  • SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions

2. What specific targets under those SDGs can be identified based on the article’s content?

  • SDG 3.8: Achieve universal health coverage, including financial risk protection, access to quality essential health-care services, and access to safe, effective, quality, and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all.
  • SDG 4.3: Ensure equal access for all women and men to affordable and quality technical, vocational, and tertiary education, including university.
  • SDG 5.5: Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic, and public life.
  • SDG 8.5: By 2030, achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value.
  • SDG 10.2: By 2030, empower and promote the social, economic, and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion, or economic or other status.
  • SDG 16.7: Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory, and representative decision-making at all levels.

3. Are there any indicators mentioned or implied in the article that can be used to measure progress towards the identified targets?

  • Indicator 3.8.1: Coverage of essential health services
  • Indicator 4.3.1: Participation rate in formal and non-formal education and training
  • Indicator 5.5.1: Proportion of seats held by women in national parliaments
  • Indicator 8.5.1: Average hourly earnings of female and male employees
  • Indicator 10.2.1: Proportion of people living below 50 percent of median income, by age, sex, and persons with disabilities
  • Indicator 16.7.1: Proportions of positions (by sex, age, persons with disabilities, and population groups) in public institutions (national and local legislatures, public service, and judiciary) compared to national distributions

Table: SDGs, Targets, and Indicators

SDGs Targets Indicators
SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being Target 3.8: Achieve universal health coverage, including financial risk protection, access to quality essential health-care services, and access to safe, effective, quality, and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all. Indicator 3.8.1: Coverage of essential health services
SDG 4: Quality Education Target 4.3: Ensure equal access for all women and men to affordable and quality technical, vocational, and tertiary education, including university. Indicator 4.3.1: Participation rate in formal and non-formal education and training
SDG 5: Gender Equality Target 5.5: Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic, and public life. Indicator 5.5.1: Proportion of seats held by women in national parliaments
SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth Target 8.5: By 2030, achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value. Indicator 8.5.1: Average hourly earnings of female and male employees
SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities Target 10.2: By 2030, empower and promote the social, economic, and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion, or economic or other status. Indicator 10.2.1: Proportion of people living below 50 percent of median income, by age, sex, and persons with disabilities
SDG 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions Target 16.7: Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory, and representative decision-making at all levels. Indicator 16.7.1: Proportions of positions (by sex, age, persons with disabilities, and population groups) in public institutions (national and local legislatures, public service, and judiciary) compared to national distributions

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Source: dailymaverick.co.za

 

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