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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 12/29/17

Howard Dean is Very Wrong To Tell Democrats over 50 to "Get the Hell Out of the Way"

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Regarding Dean's Morning Joe comments that "old Democrats should 'GET THE HELL OUT OF THEY WAY: '" Was Gandhi or Nelson Mandela too old to achieve what they accomplished?

What's next, Howard? Queen Elizabeth should step down? I supported a more idealistic Howard Dean when he ran, but lost respect when he became a blindsiding apparatchik for Hillary.

I personally think this reaction of Dr. Dean's was his way of dealing with the abject failure of the DNC and of his advice in so obliviously backing Hillary, despite her overwhelming and damaging "baggage," which was so harsh that even middle of the road Democrats voted for Trump, and the Liberal Wing went for the Green candidate.

If Dr. Dean can't recognize Sanders' still-growing credibility (or declines to do so, for whatever reason), perhaps he is the one who should get the hell out of the way.

I do agree with one thing he said: "...start moving up this next generation who are more ... fiscally sane," but rattling off names like Senators Murphy, Gillibrand, and Harris as Presidential material misses the point that hundreds of millions of Americans trust Bernie Sanders and no one else!

Furthermore, Dean's choices need more experience to warrant the nomination. if they are going to run against Senator Sanders.

By the way, I am turning 70 and not about to get the hell out of the Democratic Party or out of the way, because I feel at the peak of my life and at the greatest level of political accomplishment in 58 years of activism.


For the record, there are many great heads of state that are advanced in years. Going beyond the obvious example of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, there is Beji Caid Essebsi, who became President at 88! Under his stewardship, Tunisia remains the sole Arab spring country to have piloted a course towards democracy and security.

Don't forget 83 year old Akihito of Japan, although his role is largely ceremonial, and also that he is strongly considering stepping down.

How about Abdul Halim of Kedah of Malaysia at 91? Under a completely unique and congenial system maintained since 1957, nine hereditary state rulers take turns as the country's king for five-year terms. The monarch's role is largely ceremonial, since administrative power is vested in the prime minister and parliament.

The longest serving head of state in the world was Bhumibol Adulyadej, King of Thailand, crowned in 1946, who passed away October 13, 2016.

There is also Raul Castro. At 85, he has been in charge of Cuba for almost a decade, after the illness and death of his elder brother Fidel. A more conservative personality than Fidel, Raúl served as armed forces minister for almost 50 years, a record.

Two old African leaders left power last year, 93 year old Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, by armed forces coup, and 84 year old Paul Biya of Cameroons, by being voted out.

Recently, Teodoro Obiang Nguema in Equatorial Guinea was the world's longest-serving president, having ruled for almost 37 years, never won less than 97 percent of the vote in an election. According to the Washington Post, there was a strong international scorn he has faced in recent years caused him to loosen his grip a bit, because he won 93.7 percent when reelected to his sixth term as leader of Equatorial Guinea this year. Back in 1979, he became President after ousting his own uncle.

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