KERREY: I mean, the big thing you always worry about whether people will register and get out to vote. No, never worried about rigging of any election I've ever been a part of.Another guest, Dana Loesch (of The Blaze) observed that if a candidate (like Trump) says the vote is rigged, it might make your own supporters feel that they shouldn't bother voting. This prompts Kerrey to say something that made me want to write this blog post:
KERREY: There's also sort of a tendency of older people, and I can speak on behalf of older people in this town.... There's a tendency as you go through life to become bitter. The one thing I don't like is when you listen to old people telling young people, don't get involved. Don't participate. The whole system is rigged. It isn't rigged. It's terrific to get involved. There's great opportunity to be involved. Both Republican and Democrat. I've rarely talked to anybody that got involved in politics who said it was (INAUDIBLE). So the central message [Trump]'s putting out there is sort of the geezer cynic don't get involved because the whole thing does work. It does work.1. I'd put a hyphen between "geezer" and "cynic" because (I think) it's used as an adjective. Trump is putting out a geezer-cynic message.
2. Is "it's all rigged" the kind of belief that should be associated with old and cynical people? It is something Bernie Sanders has also said this year, and though he himself is an old man, his message was appealing to young people.
3. Should young people turn away from a message because it is the sort of thing that older people come to believe? Does that make it toxic or, at least, dubious? Or can the young look upon older people as experienced and possibly a good source of information and wisdom?
4. Is prejudice against the old pernicious and something to be ashamed of or is it okay for Bob Kerrey to use the term "geezer" in mockery? Kerry identifies himself as one of the old people, so perhaps he's claiming a privilege to put old people down because he's one of them. But he's not embracing the ideas he's ascribing to the "geezer cynic." He expresses optimism, and he never refers to himself as a "geezer optimist."
5. Is there a natural process in aging that causes a person to distance himself from the affairs of the world and to begin to cede the decisions to younger people? If that is what is happening, why see it as cynicism if old people withdraw?