As voters, should we care whether people on the ballot are mentally capable of holding the job?
BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: It's probably safe to say that most of us, including Red, think of old age and its implications in a very personal way, either in terms of ourselves or loved ones. But not Black, who often says, "Aging beats the alternative," and looked at retirement from a business perspective, but now sees how it impacts all of us in terms of elected officials.
Recently, Bill Cassidy, a physician and senator (Republican from Louisiana), stated how he "favors cognition tests for aging leaders of all three branches of government," explaining that it has nothing to do with politics or partisanship, or even any specific individuals. It's simply because once you reach your 80s, there can be rapid decline in your cognitive abilities. It's just a fact of life.
Red, the lover of history, understood the point, especially as it seems that many elections, and certainly presidential ones, have tried to make age an issue. Of course, the stated arguments are a function of whether you're the older candidate or the younger one. And although she's always thought it was a question of the specific person, not the date on their birth certificate, Red felt no one summed it up better than Ronald Reagan (73) when running against Walter Mondale (56),
I want you to know that also I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent's youth and inexperience.
In all seriousness, although we have very different perspectives (especially as Red's the one dealing with our 93-year-old mom), it does come down to the individual. There's no "right" or "wrong" age for retirement, and many of us know "older" people who can run, sometimes quite literally, circles around "younger" people. Age is a mindset as much as it's a number.
But when it comes to government leaders, shouldn't we be confident they're physically and mentally capable of the job? Mandatory cognitive tests for aging leaders make perfect sense. They're clinical and non-emotional gauges and are no different from medical tests recommended for people as they age. Except these leaders are making decisions that impact us all, and as Black sees it,
In Washington D.C., the Department of Motor Vehicle's drivers' license renewal process requires drivers over 70 to have their physician certify their physical and mental competence. So, it would seem that would be a reasonable requirement for leaders who decide the direction of our country.
Is it even possible to have a single Thanksgiving favorite? Some have many – some have none!
BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: Red always looks forward to Thanksgiving, not just because she loves having everyone around her dining room table, but because she enjoys so much of the food; while Black tolerates the food and tries to forget that she's not a fan of "forced celebrations", especially this year's double hit as Thanksgiving falls on her birthday.
Of course, Red does all the cooking, not just because she enjoys it but because that way, she's guaranteed to get her favorites – cranberry sauce and cornbread stuffing. She enjoys the food so much that a few times a year she'll make a turkey dinner, but with much fewer side dishes.
Black, on the other hand, doesn't have any Thanksgiving favorites, unless you count a baked yam, which is nothing special as she makes them in the microwave year-round. But she does miss the years they used to go to the Omni Hotel for its amazing Thanksgiving buffet, and she could avoid all the traditional foods,
Some people love to make turkey and all the fixings. I prefer to make dinner reservations.
A movie with murder, designer clothing, amazing locations, sex, and money. Who needs the popcorn?! (Besides Red.)
BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: Red loves going to the movies – sometimes because of the story, other times it could be the actors or director, but always for the popcorn; while Black's very discerning when it comes to "investing" a few hours to sit in a movie theater … but we both want to see "House Of Gucci."
Red's especially partial to biographies, whether books or movies, so the fact the movie's based on a real story makes it even more appealing to her, not to mention it has a phenomenal cast and Ridley Scott as producer/director. (And, of course, there's the popcorn!)
Black, on the other hand, knows she'll enjoy the fashion, but it's the fact Maurizio Gucci could be a business school case study on how to simultaneously betray your family and bankrupt a company that got her attention. That and the Gucci family's reaction to the movie,
Given the scandal of murder and the betrayal of a fashion dynasty, the Gucci family takes issue with … the physical appearance of the actors? Talk about style over substance!