Lazy Labor Day column

This is the week that most columnists dread, since most of you are on vacation squeezing out the last bit of summer. So we sometimes let you in on our musings or items that we’ve thought about but haven’t put on paper. Thus, this column.

One of the liveliest discussions in political debate, other than the circus that is called Trump, is with all that craziness and corruption in the Republican Party. The year 2020 is going to be prime for a Democratic presidential candidate. Then comes the question: Who? 

Among the names that always pop up is the former vice president, Joe Biden. Usually after that, you’ll hear someone say something along the lines of, “Well, isn’t he a little too old?” Plain and simple, anyone who says that should be ashamed of themselves. That is ageist, and you are anything but a progressive. 

Aside from that question is the question of qualifications. There is no debate on that. Strength of character — again, top of his field. And then the most important question that can be asked of any candidate: Can he win? Here’s where his age and personality work on his behalf.

In my opinion, it certainly worked for Ronald Reagan when he was elected president because of his advanced age and his likable personality. Why?

Like now, the country was in a dire crisis. We had been through one turbulent crisis after another. The country didn’t know what it stood for and its leadership was thought to be out of touch and lost respect in the world. 

Regardless of your thoughts on him, and mine are very negative, Reagan came along and, in a sense, used PR and his own sort of ageism in reverse to be a calming effect, as a grandfatherly type who was pleasant and just trying to pull the family back together again. 

Biden, while much more youthful than Reagan, certainly has an image of trying to pull us together. Just thought I’d toss this out there on a lazy Labor Day weekend … 

Mark Segal, PGN publisher, is the nation’s most-award-winning commentator in LGBT media. You can follow him on Facebook at or Twitter at

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