Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

Should We Hope to Die at 75?

Contra Ezekiel Emanuel, age is no absolute barometer for human vitality and dignity.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

 

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About Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow in Residence in Classics and Military History at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, a professor of Classics Emeritus at California State University, Fresno, and a nationally syndicated columnist for Tribune Media Services. He is also the Wayne & Marcia Buske Distinguished Fellow in History, Hillsdale College, where he teaches each fall semester courses in military history and classical culture.

31 Thoughts on “Should We Hope to Die at 75?

  1. I am sure that he will, unfortunately, change his mind within 18 years, though I highly recommend it to all supporters of Obamacare.

  2. Thank you Victor, the value of human life does not rely upon our economic contributions or our physical vitality but upon the value that has been placed upon us by our creator who gave us not only rights but intrinsic worth by virtue of being created in His image and ultimately by being worth saving by the efforts and sacrifice of our Creator himself. A Society will never rise above the image and example of its deities. I am thankful that in our republic our founders firmly understood that the value of the individual is firmly grounded in the existence and actions of the Creator. May our nation, neighbors and world be awakened by the horrific screams of the consequences being forced upon us of the liberal theology being promoted by the leaders of our secular institutions of education and sadly by the leaders of the Democratic Party and many in the elite Republican Leadership. It is time to take a new look at the foundations of our republic and fight to rebuild those foundations in our businesses, schools, churches, and families.

  3. Proudly Unaffiliated on September 25, 2014 at 9:11 am said:

    From the O’Care brother of the Godfather to our ears. Maybe we can tailor the mandatory checkout age based on individual qualities/worth or, who knows, even a popular up-or-down vote like a Roman sport. 75 could be too high for some. For example, 58 seems appropriate for Ezekiel Emanuel.

  4. It’s usually the progressive elites who come up with this garbage about how to best manage collected resources. What’s happened to this Country where a person could be free to pursue their life and desires without having to be interfered with by someone like the emanuels, bloombergs, rockefellers, roosevelts, gores, and on and on and on. Where the hell is a GOLDWATER when you need someone to stand up and be counted!

    • In remembering Goldwater…

      I only remember him as a senile old man who the media loved to quote in his old age because he had gone over to the dark side. Or…maybe he was always on the dark side but hid it well, like many of our current RINOs.

      • The reference to Goldwater was over your head obviously. In ’64 I was a one year old but understood as I got older and heard people I listened to and respected talk about Goldwater as a man who for the most part speak clearly and frankly about liberal excess and hypocrisy. That’s the Goldwater I referenced not when he had reached the end of his life and was affected by the ravages of old age both mental and physiologically.

  5. N. Robinson on September 25, 2014 at 10:09 am said:

    The progressive age with its cemented belief in elitism, eugenics, and collectivism with terror and slaughter will return. The only thing that has truly showed its age, no matter who it is applied to, is the fossilized government entitlements to which the progressive age brought about. the Affordable RationCare is the epitome of this.

  6. Christopher Brosnahan on September 25, 2014 at 10:46 am said:

    It’s amazing to me how the philosophies of the hated Nazis, which the allies spent so much money & blood on destroying are now being touted as the answer to the ills of society. That such is being advocated by a dude such as ‘Zeke’ Emanuel is downright shocking…and disturbing…First it’s age 75…then the slippery slope leads us to what…50, 40, 35…21??? Evidently Pete Townshend (The Who) didn’t get HIS wish, nor do i think he WANTS to die before he gets oldER…Emanuel is a retarded windbang…and a dangerous one at that!!!

  7. Theophilus on September 25, 2014 at 11:51 am said:

    Thank you Mr. Hanson for pointing out the stupidity in ultra-liberal thinking! It amazes me that a puny human somehow has the godly wisdom, to tell other puny humans how to live, this has to be the height of arrogance mixed in with pride and a whole lot of darkness in between.

    I have come to believe after being exposed to such ultra-liberal thinking from time to time, is that the only logical explanation to this type of unbalance judgment is due to an important biblical principle as recorded in the book of Romans 1:18 and following. In these verses we learned that people who have willfully rejected God outright eventually go down a mental path where they become incapable of developing sound judgment in their thinking. Plainly speaking, God refers to them as people who have reprobate minds, meaning their minds are seared with a hot iron and are devoid of judgment! It appears Mr. Emanuel and many of his ultra-liberal friends are a text book example of this important biblical insight.

  8. Greg Gritsch on September 25, 2014 at 12:16 pm said:

    Perhaps we should ask Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg her opinion?

  9. Hmm, could it be that Zeke and his cohorts are aiming at Conservatives/Libertarians/Independents in the median 68+ year old demo of FNC viewers? [NYT 7/22/13 provides the age/cable/network data

    Just curious.]

  10. Ronald Dolgin on September 25, 2014 at 12:42 pm said:

    Emanuel is distracting us. By the Governments own Congressional Budget Office and other official sources Obamacare failed fundamentally before it started—virtue of a defective structure and design. It’s unable to meet the 2 main stated aims as it costs more and provides less than our currently strained but beneficial healthcare situation. The terrible truth is that it leaves 30 to 50 million Americans still uninsured while adding at least $2 Trillion more to American Health Care spending as it gets implemented. It’s sponsors could not stomach these facts, and plowed ahead with this foredoomed operation, so it seems fair to conclude Emanuel and associates demonstrated mental, moral and judgement deficiencies are to blame. Still, forgiving like most Americans, I favor letting him live out his days and only ask he do the rest of us the same courtesy.

  11. Ken Woytek on September 25, 2014 at 12:51 pm said:

    My recommendation for qualifying Americans to receive needed medical attention is that merit in character, responsibility, even means, should determine eligibility for services, NOT youth OR vitality. Young, worthless and indigent citizens should be denied drug rehab, STD treatment, smoking counsel, bipolar meds, or any self-induced disorder treatment, Similarly, productive and contributive seniors should be vetted for life-extending heroics, and worthiness the measure of treatment. Homeless, criminal, and irresponsible seniors would be relegated to the same scrapheap as scummy youths, to preserve the integrity of American culture. Let means-testing prevail!
    Consider Mr. Hanson’s examples of productive ancients, and add Bob Hope, George Burns, Al Einstein, and Bill Graham, from other orbits of influence to benefit quality of life.
    P.S. I’m 78, with plenty to say in city Senior advisory committee, design consulting role to consumer optics companies, emergency preparedness coordination in nieghborhood, and regular contributions published in county monthly newspaper. Kill me off? Come and claim my defensive weapons first, if you can.

  12. David Seward on September 25, 2014 at 1:45 pm said:

    It will be interesting if Emanuel sticks to his plan once he turns 70. By his assertion I would only have eight years left to see my two year old grandson turn ten! This guy is a crack pot of the first order! God help us all!

  13. I liked the article, although I thought the focus on a particular age was silly. It is true that people decline, often sharply, in old age, use a disproportionate amount of health care service particularly in the last yeay, and often limp along with very poor quality of life simply because they can. If Emanuel had modified his article to instead use significant decline in QoL as his metric rather than the arbitrary seventy five years of age, I’m in complete agreement.

    The biggest concern, of course, is if this thinking is applied unilaterally to everyone regardless of personal choice. That is not acceptable. People at 75 (or whenever) should have the right to choose whatever healthcare they can afford to extend their life as long and uncomfortably as they desire.

  14. Helen Parnagian on September 25, 2014 at 2:47 pm said:

    This Jewish politico is astounding in his lack of heart and reverence for hisown history. Sounds like the seeds of the Holocaust all over again, when the Nazis began with sorting out who was fit to live and who wasn’t: a short slippery slope to condemning his relatives to the gas chambers . Hard to believe and yet totally believable that this branch of the Emmauels should herald its own demise beginning with me. At 86 I’m fit and sassy and consider myself dignified, coherent and viable as a human being. The likes of this demented windbag should have his inflated sense of self pricked with the tip of his own tragic history.

  15. This was a very good piece that should be picked up and run nationally, side by side w/ Emanuel’s. Thanks for the time, though and personal experience you put in the article. sk

  16. I just got my Social Security info on the elusive gov’t age for people to retire, which mine is currently 66. They suggest holding out until 70. They originally said I could retire at 55.

    I worked from 16 years old until I was 40 when we decided I would stay at home for our 5 year old. That’s a lot of years. My last full-time job was in 1984 as an Amin. Asst. to a dept. chair at a state university. I made $14,000. My estimated per month Soc. Sec. income is estimated at less than $900 PER MONTH, should I retire at 66. They are telling me that that is 40% of what I will need to live comfortably. They tell me to rely on savings, and retirement investments, etc. LOL

    They have been telling me that I need more points, which means get a job, so I can collect more Social Security.

    With all the young people needing jobs, who do you think would hire a 60+ year old secretary? SERIOUSLY?!

    The whole premise of Soc. Security was to get older people out of the job market so the young people could work. Now older people must work as long as possible to insure that they can at least afford their property tax, water, elec., phone bills, etc.

    What makes me mad is that DC has been income taxing Soc. Sec. as well, which they promised they wouldn’t. It makes me very made when I think of all the money that we send to countries who hate us
    and use the money to kill our children, but my taxes are deemed “ENTITLEMENTS.”

    I am NOT ENTITLED to money that I contributed to my “retirement” but there are foreigners who feel entitled to the same money and DC feels that is ok. How is that equality?

    I imagine my future will be living in a box somewhere, while people on the gov’t welfare roll will be living in a house paid for by my taxes. I guess I won’t need to worry about all those bills if I live in a box.

  17. Louis Emery on September 25, 2014 at 3:58 pm said:

    I will go further than VHD. Where is it written that one must be “useful” to “society” in order to continue to live (or just to live)? Only in the socialistic 20th-21st centry is this an actual topic of conversation. The point must be made that even a diminished person (because of age or otherwise) should be supported as much as possible through (truly free-market) insurance policies, personal funds or voluntary contributions of relatives and friends. The problem occurs when a government dictates the conditions of medical care.

    The premise of the movie Logan’s Run was formative for me in 1976.

    For those who would follow this Emmanuel, I hope you find a rooftop you like, as I heard Mark Levin say. :/

  18. John Fitzgibbon on September 25, 2014 at 7:13 pm said:

    Emanuel should just do himself in now and spare us the unfortunate torment of his future.

  19. Helen Parnagian on September 25, 2014 at 8:21 pm said:

    Immoderate suggestion for limiting age of humans right to live it out requires an immoderate response. Let’s quit playing “nice” to the stuff floating around. It only encourages when it might be retorted to with snap.

  20. One more thought, Zeke – are you going to tell some Veteran who fought to make YOU free, that he can’t collect insurance and must check out at 75….tell that to Bob Dole, John McCain and Tammy Duckworth.

    Moron!

  21. Boy does Zeke miss the point!

    “Americans seem to be obsessed with exercising, doing mental puzzles, consuming various juice and protein concoctions, sticking to strict diets, and popping vitamins and supplements, all in a valiant effort to cheat death and prolong life as long as possible. This has become so pervasive that it now defines a cultural type: what I call the American immortal.”

    Diet matters! Physical health and mental health are based on biology…what you put into your body matters!

    Had our gov’t back in the early 70’s (remenber McGovern) not created an unsubstantiated panic about the cholesterol rich foods we were eating, Americans might be much healthier than we are today.

    Check online (Dr Lustig) and the research (his book Fat Chance) showing that glucose/fructose negatively impact the organization of proteins. Why should this matter? Every cell in your body is fat and protein.

    Zeke needs to be pushing the biology of nutrition and exercise. We would then need less interference from our expanding gov’t.

  22. David Park on September 26, 2014 at 9:43 am said:

    The title, PhD, is supposed to mean ‘philosophie doctor’, a term indicating a higher degree of education suggesting greater wisdom. Once in a while, it seems to indicate instead something on the order of ‘phiosophie dufoos’ which would apply to “Dr.” Emanuel.

  23. I knnow that I said some pretty dumb things when I was 57. Now that I’m 70 I hope I will continue to learn new things. and I would hope the same for Dr. Emanuel although at the moment he sounds pretty foolish.
    His thoughts about dying at 75 are very selfish and not at all considerate of his children’s feelings.
    Based on what he has shown us of hinself I can’t give him very high markes for having much intelligence.

  24. Stuart Milligan on September 28, 2014 at 7:02 am said:

    Dr. Emanuel is not making a rational argument, because it is unlikely that anyone would go through with a plan like this. Even if he did go through with it, it wouldn’t be fair to the people around him to have to watch a healthy person die a slow death. If he reaches 75 and wants to die, he can always just commit suicide, but trying to argue that it’s reasonable for any healthy 75 year old to stop using medical resources only makes it easier for the government to deny those resources to older people. It’s a dangerous thing to say.

  25. I think the solution according the fascist leftists is already at hand. I just got back from the largest theme park in the world in the southern United States and there were many, many people riding around on scooters because they were too obese to walk the park. So with a huge amount of Americans overweight or obese many of them won’t make it to 65 let alone 75. So if the skinny liberals all kill themselves at 75, the rest of us should be in pretty good shape.

  26. Steamboat Jack on October 8, 2014 at 12:17 pm said:

    The term “Obamacare” is now deemed racist hate speech. The rollout has been so horrible that to associate His Magnificence with the failure of “Obamacare” is to imply that Obama in particular and Democrats in general are incompetent. Since HE was judged solely on the color of his skin, any criticism has to be racist. (Barbara Walters said that they thought of him as the new Messiah and Chris Matthews felt a tingle go up his leg at the mere sound of his voice.)

    Unless you want to be labeled as a bigot, the new term is “Bushcare”.

    For those who went to government schools, it’s called Sarcasm and Irony.

    Regards,

    Steamboat Jack (Jon Jewett’s evil twin)

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