By Hugh Hewitt

Special To The Washington Post

If there has been a time when actuarial improbability and the West’s highest levels of authority, political and financial power as well as wealth have ever been so intermingled, I’m unaware of it.

President Donald Trump is 72. Two of his top potential rivals for the presidency, former vice president Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., are 76 and 77, respectively. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., will soon celebrate birthday No. 79, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., recently turned 77. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is almost 86. Justice Stephen Breyer is 80. Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito are 70 and 68, respectively.

Elsewhere, Pope Francis is 82. Franklin Graham is a “young” 66, and Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby a mere child of 63. Warren Buffett is 88. Bill Gates, at 63, is almost youthful in comparison. Septuagenarian financiers are too numerous to list.

Musicians who didn’t pass away young seem to play on and on and on. I attended terrific concerts by Judy Collins, 79, and Joan Baez, 78, in the past six months. On the cusp of 72, Sir Elton John sold more pianos with his Christmas ad for John Lewis & Partners than any other keyboard pitchman in history. He’s also busy touring, as is Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Elton’s senior by half a decade . And don’t even get me started on Hollywood.

You see the trend here. We surely ought to be able to agree to raise the Medicare retirement age from 65 to 67? If not, at least we can stop with the idea of millennials at the gate. If they were, they’d just have to push a tiny little bit for the oldsters on the other side to go down in a pile.

What is really at work here is a rejection by many people in many fields of the idea of aging. Now, their rejection of physiology doesn’t disprove physiology – “Father Time is undefeated,” LeBron James is fond of saying. It just underscores that more and more people are going to keep going until somebody’s “making arrangements.”

Individuals in free societies make their own choices so long as they are healthy and do not depend on the approval of others to continue as they see fit. But when Benedict XVI saw fit to retire from the Holy See at age 85 (he is 91 now, and good health be with him) perhaps he was sending a message to all the aging Energizer bunnies out there about a better way to prepare for the end of this life.

No one, after all, is really especially relevant beyond his or her family and friends. And no one at all is irreplaceable. Wouldn’t we all be better off at raising the retirement age while at the same time suggesting to everyone in every profession as we must all do to our parents if they live long enough, that it’s time to give up the keys? And if I live long enough, I fully expect my children will hand me a copy of this with the previous sentence highlighted.