We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Mitt Romney would've been the safe choice--he would've delivered Michigan, along with a 51% victory.
With this choice, McCain has stated his intention to "shoot the moon". He's solidified his existing alliances and has now reached out to many disenchanted Democrats, but without alienating his base of support.
There will be rocky moments. But they will fade if the McCain campaign lets Palin's journey take its natural course over the next two months. Millions of Americans--mostly but not only women, mostly but not only Republicans and conservatives--seemed to get a sense of energy and enjoyment and pride, not just from her nomination, but especially from her smashing opening performance. Palin will be a compelling and mold-breaking example for lots of Americans who are told every day that to be even a bit conservative or Christian or old-fashioned is bad form. In this respect, Palin can become an inspirational figure and powerful symbol. The left senses this, which is why they want to discredit her quickly.
The Democrats have titled their party platform, "Renewing America's Promise."
A more honest and accurate title would be, "We'll Give You More."
The soul of the Democratic philosophy is summed up in this passage from the platform: "For decades, Americans have been told to act for ourselves, by ourselves, on our own. Democrats reject this recipe for division and failure."
Note the disdain for the ethos of self-responsibility. Democrats do not merely regard it as insufficient. Instead they regard the idea that people should provide for themselves as divisive.
Even more significantly, Democrats regard self-responsibility as a "recipe for failure." In other words, Democrats don't think the American people are capable of making it on their own.
And so, Democrats have a government program for, well, everything.
Democrats want government to help you raise your kids, send them to college, train and retrain for a job, buy a home and save for retirement.
Megan says this. Some truth to it, but it misses the main point, I think, which is that govt isn't about caring - it's about protecting our freedom. Govt does not and cannot "care":
Democrats show little expressed sympathy for those who work to make the money the government taxes to help the beset-upon mother and the soldier and the kids. They express little sympathy for the middle-aged woman who owns a small dry cleaner and employs six people and is, actually, day to day, stressed and depressed from the burden of state, local and federal taxes, and regulations, and lawsuits, and meetings with the accountant, and complaints as to insufficient or incorrect efforts to meet guidelines regarding various employee/employer rules and regulations. At Republican conventions they express sympathy for this woman, as they do for those who are entrepreneurial, who start businesses and create jobs and build things. Republicans have, that is, sympathy for taxpayers. But they don't dwell all that much, or show much expressed sympathy for, the sick mother with the uninsured kids, and the soldier with the shot nerves.
Neither party ever gets it quite right, the balance between the taxed and the needy, the suffering of one sort and the suffering of another. You might say that in this both parties are equally cold and equally warm, only to two different classes of citizens.
The loss of mental skills is dependent on more than age.
Living alone may decrease speech skills; or not having someone reasonable to talk to even if married: that's one reason a lot of intelligent men talk to themselves. Hell, I misspent my grad school years and beyond hanging around a coffee shop engaged in conversation; now, I spent the last ten years not being able to talk to that many intelligent people: my verbal skills went down.
Retirement could be a factor: no longer using the cognitive abilities one built up over a lifetime of work.
njartist49 ... another not publicized reason for loss of mental skills is over-indulgence in alcohol [dammit]. At 83 and 80 respectively, my husband and I gave up alcohol, including, wine [sob] beer and the Hard Stuff, except for Christmas, New Year's and our anniversary. We hated to do it, but it's helped a lot. We try to keep our cognitive abilities honed by reading the Internet, and responding when appropriate, arguing with each other [gently] and as Stachel Paige recommended, "jangling around gently." It's been working so far.