The Conversation We're Not Having

A well-regarded horror filmmaker said once that horror films helped people be more comfortable with death. But it’s still an uncomfortable topic of conversation for many people. In this election cycle, not talking about it could prove much more uncomfortable to our country.

The average life expectancy according to the United Nations is 72.6 years.* Elizabeth Warren is 70. Joe Biden is 77. Michael Bloomberg and Bernie Sanders are 78. In the spirit of being bipartisan, Donald Trump is 73. It’s not just about the age- Sanders had a heart attack some months ago, and Trump shows signs of dementia or similar neurological deterioration.

Being president is a stressful job. Look at how Obama and George W. Bush aged during their terms in office. If we are going to look at putting someone in their seventies into this job, we also need to pay very close attention to who their vice president is- the vice president may be put to work.

I know what you’re thinking- death comes at all ages. Of course it does- but it’s a roll of the dice with someone in their seventies and the stress of the job. I personally find it concerning that Sanders had a heart attack on the campaign trail and won’t release his medical records. I think we should pay super close attention to who his VP is. My grandparents both had dementia and I am telling you, Trump reminds me of my Pop Pop. Will he be able to govern for four more years? Methinks no.

So while I get asking people to have a conversation about death is at comfort level about the same as asking them to let me tell them about Jesus, it’s a long overdue conversation in this election cycle.


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