Arizona Senator #John McCain's #GOP primary challenger, Dr. Kelli Ward, told Chuck Todd of MSNBC that McCain, 80, simply is "too old" to serve any longer in the U.S. Senate. McCain, who is at the end of his fifth term in the Senate, is in good company with other long-serving, older senators who served well into their advanced years, among them: Robert Byrd, Daniel Inouye, Strom Thurmond, and Edward Kennedy. These senators served a combined 198 years in the United States Senate, and all of them except for Kennedy, served over 50 years in Senate. Kennedy served forty-seven years in the Senate but would have served over forty-nine years if he had lived to the end of the last term to which he was elected.
An unsought medical opinion
So far as this observer knows, nobody in the media has sought Dr. Ward's medical opinion of McCain's medical fitness to serve. However, Ward has offered her medical opinion anyway and gladly shared it with Todd. Ward, who most likely has never examined McCain, told Todd that there are "physiological changes" that occur in patients who are, as she puts it, "at the end of life." Apparently, Ward, 47, is stepping up to the plate and offering not only to serve as a United States Senator, but also to serve as a self-appointed, Assistant Surgeon General who voluntarily examines aging Senators to see if they are "too old to serve" because of "physiological changes" in their bodies. Ward's entire argument is foolhardy, shallow and self-serving, as this observer sees it.
Senator McCain's daughter, Meghan McCain, boasted of her father's profound physical stamina for a man of any age, let alone a man of 80. The younger McCain discussed how her father hikes in the Grand Canyon every year, which is a feat that few people half Senator McCain's age can do in today's "couch potato" age.
A new kind of discrimination
It appears to this observer that Ward has introduced into the political arena a new kind of bigotry, age discrimination. Perhaps it can be referred as "agism," an unsought and ill-begotten form of discrimination against somebody based solely on their age. As this observer sees it, the usage of "agism" as a means of discrediting a political opponent is more of a reflection on the person discriminating than it ever will be on the subject of the discrimination. If Ward has nothing else to offer as a reason to vote for her other than the fact that she is younger than McCain, then perhaps she should get out of the race.
A hero nonetheless
Despite honest disagreement with McCain on some substantive issues, this observer nonetheless recognizes and acknowledges John McCain as the hero that he is. The man was captured by the North Vietnamese and held prisoner for five and a half years. To this day, as a result of injuries sustained while being tortured by his captors, McCain cannot lift his arms over his head. The man is showing no signs of dementia or alzheimer's and is honorable enough that if he were, he would step down.
Ward, get out
Dr. Ward, do the right thing and drop out of this race and take your "agism" bigotry elsewhere. We don't have room for it in our nation's legislative bodies, or in our political campaigns.
A Senate colleague in trouble
McCain is not the only GOP senator who is facing a challenge from another Republican. In Texas, there is widespread talk of a 2018 run by Rick Perry in the GOP primary against Senator Ted Cruz, who is in the hot seat for not endorsing #Donald Trump at the GOP Convention in July. Whether or not that race comes to fruition, or if it is successful, remains to be seen.
Can't do it alone
It seems to this observer that if Republicans want to go after one of their own, that they should go after Donald Trump, their presidential nominee, who apparently was unable to attend his classified briefing alone. The befuddled "Donald" brought Chris Christie and a retired general along with him to hold his hand. Now that is something that should concern us!