At the beginning of the summer, I unsubscribed from Andy Baio’s Waxy.org, one of my favorite all-time blogs, because he linked twice to a blog which continues to push at times lame, and other times outrageous, ageism (scroll down to May 16th) aimed at Senator McCain.
It’s been four months since Baio linked the site twice (the second time defending ageism as a tactic against McCain), and since Senator McCain nominated Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate last month, I thought I’d pop in on Baio’s site, Waxy.org, and see if the liberal (and thus supposedly tolerant) Baio had decided sexism might be an acceptable tact against Governor Palin.
Gratefully, my non-scientific search of Baio’s blog archives, as well as his Links Archive, turns up not a single mention of Palin, suggesting Baio feels ageism is acceptable but sexism is not.
To test my suspicions, I dug through Baio’s Link archives since the ageism began, looking at June, July, August and September (as of 9/15), for any mention of the word “McCain”. I found 9 links total, one of which took aim at McCain’s age, this time with an entirely unfunny and decidedly lame joke (perhaps worse, it was a link to Daily Kos).
I am disappointed that somebody as smart and as respected as Andy thinks its appropriate- not to mention funny- to attack a person based on their age. I hope Andy can recognize that thoughtful people can disagree on why the person they support is better suited to the job of President, without resorting to any -ism, no matter how fashionable it might be.
UPDATE: Please see the comments for two thoughtful responses to my post, including one from Waxy.org’s Andy Baio.
5 thoughts on “”
While it’s pretty clear we don’t agree on many aspects of politics, I will grant you that ageism and sexism has been used many times in this election, both by commentators and by the candidates themselves. And yes, while I do support the very man you can’t stand, I’ve been trying to be fair this time around by giving both candidates a chance.
For the sake of fairness, then, I’d just like to point out a couple of things. First, the link you point to in your fourth paragraph links to a page (and a comment, at that) criticizing the technological illiteracy that McCain has admitted, not his age. If you click on the “View Story” link above the graphic, you’ll see the article to which the comment was posted states that the criticism is not one of age. (I’d agree that the link in the first paragraph does unfairly criticize McCain’s age, though I do believe the issue should be considered in the election.)
I also just want to note that ageism doesn’t always just swing one way. In May, McCain touched upon the issue as well. But that’s another story entirely, I think.
Thanks for the honest critique. You’re the very first person that’s mentioned the ageism issue on Waxy.org, and I’m glad you did.
In hindsight, you’re right. The “Things Older Than McCain” site is an unfair (though very funny) line of attack. Generalizing anyone’s ability based on age alone is ridiculous. I’ve edited my link text to reflect this, and I won’t be defending the use of ageism in this election again.
As Justin pointed out, the Daily Kos link pokes fun at McCain’s well-known unfamiliarity with computers, and I’m totally comfortable with that. Likewise, I reviewed the other 11 times I’ve mentioned McCain, and they’re all fair, based on his policies and public statements.
Thanks for the feedback! Hope to see you back after the election.
Thanks Andy and Justin for two reasonable, thoughtful comments. I appreciate you both taking the time to respond in a respectful manner. It’s a bit of light in what has been a somewhat disappointing few weeks in the political landscape.
nader’s got a few years on him! :)
“obama likes fdr, who led the country through the depression, and mccain likes teddy, who spoke at his high school graduation” ~ stephen colbert