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Home Columns Unsolicited Advice America Needs the Mike Bloomberg of Old
America Needs the Mike Bloomberg of Old PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - Unsolicited Advice
Written by Bobby M. Reyes   
Saturday, 08 February 2020 08:50

M any of the detractors of Michael Rubens Bloomberg say that—at age 77—he is now too old to become the President of the United States of America. This writer, however, reckons that many New Yorkers and lots of dissatisfied Americans want to see at the Oval Office come January 2021 not an Old Mike Bloomberg but the “MIKE BLOOMBERG OF OLD.” Yes, just like when Mr. Bloomberg became the mayor of New York City, just immediately after the September 11, 2001, bombing of the World Trade Center. Why? Read on . . .
Political history has so-many recorded instances of a people opting for more-experienced and older leadership in times of a state crisis – whether caused by political reasons, economic upheavals, military threats or a combination of all the factors.
The Lesson of Konrad Adenauer
The Germans chose Konrad Adenauer (1876-1967) as their leader and elected him—at age 73—as the first post-war Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1949. The German voters were right. Mr. Adenauer’s experienced leadership ensured West Germany's transition to a sovereign, democratic state. He oversaw the ending of the military occupation of West Germany in 1952 and in 1955 West Germany was recognized internationally as an independent nation. It joined NATO also in 1955 and the European Economic Community in 1957. Mr. Adenauer was not only West Germany's first post-war Chancellor but he became a key, if not the dominant, figure in rebuilding the country after the ashes left by World War Two – both economically and emotionally. He restored Germany’s national pride and self-confidence.
Mr. Adenauer continued to be re-elected well into his 80s and retired as Chancellor in 1963 at the age of 87. He continued to be politically active and remained the head of his political party, the Christian Democratic Union, until 1966 – at age 90. He passed away a year later.
The Example of Ronald Reagan
Americans were in deep trouble in 1980. America’ economic problems were primarily caused by inflation. The American pride, esteem and self-confidence were that low due to the inability of their government to rescue the American diplomats held captive for more-than a year in Iran. In 1980, they turned to an old leader. They voted for Ronald Reagan, who was almost 70-years old at the time of his inauguration as the 40th President. Mr. Reagan won overwhelmingly in both popular and electoral votes (489 electoral votes to 49) over a much-younger and re-electionist President Jimmy Carter.
The voters re-elected President Reagan in 1984 at age 73 when the United States and the Free World were at the height of fighting the “Cold War” against the Soviet Union and the communist countries under the “Evil Empire,” as Mr. Reagan called the Soviet Bloc. The American voters were right in choosing an “Old Reagan” – and his exemplary public service as the "Reagan of Old" – and he led the nation in restoring economic prosperity. President Reagan also assured world peace by maintaining the right military strength. Under Mr. Reagan’s inspirational leadership, the world witnessed people-powered peaceful revolutions that toppled authoritarian regimes from the Philippines to East Europe. Now, history books have dubbed the Reagan years as the “Reagan Revolution.”
Why Often Experienced Leaders Do Well
Old age does not mean an inability to work for constructive changes. In fact, old-and-experienced hands hold the key to what could be had as viable changes. Changes cannot be had by oratory alone; even the more-eloquent Ronald Reagan could not do it by political speeches only. It actually takes a much-respected leadership to obtain bipartisan support. A leadership in government that is respected takes years, if not decades, to acquire and nurture. It often cannot be acquired online or in Wall Street. Or by Tweeting like what an Old Donald J. Trump is doing.
The present American infrastructures can be compared to those of post-war Germany. The United States needs to rebuild its crumbling bridges, roads, railways, ports, airports and highways as it prepares to fight Global Warming. Many Americans, especially those of German ancestry, are looking for an American version of Konrad Adenauer, if not a 21st-century version of Mr. Reagan -- all rolled into one leader that has the passion of a Jerry Brown, who was elected for the third term as California governor at age 72 in 2010 and finished his fourth term at age 80.
And Gov. Jerry Brown of Old finished his last year in office in 2018 with California having a surplus of more-than nine-billion (spelled with a B) dollars.
There is another reason why an “old” experienced leader does well often, if not most of the time. Older leaders like Chancellor Adenauer, President Reagan and Governor Brown worked hard to leave a long-lasting positive legacy. Because it was literally and figuratively their last shot at greatness, if not immortality – from the viewpoint of history. # # #


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