“I am going to unfollow and block anyone that spouts the “age” shit. Ageism is NO different from sexism – or racism, or homophobia. A person is either competent – or they fucking aren’t. It has NOTHING to do with their fucking age. Go ask Pelosi – and RBG”
—-Joe Biden fan and defender @perpetualTJ on Twitter, piling up bad logic, faulty reasoning and political correctness like there’s no tomorrow.
Well, I don’t know who this idiot is, and it doesn’t matter. You usually don’t see such emphatic, self-righteous, and veriegated nonsense in a single tweet. It is truly a treasure trove:
- As is increasingly common on the left side of the political spectrum, perpetualTJ’s response to an opinion or position that he/she/it disagrees with is to stifle it, and punish the cur who dared utter such blasphemy.
This reinforces a closed mind, and guarantees perpetual ignorance.
- As Ethics Alarms has written here before, denial and delusion are increasingly indispensable means whereby many advocates can continue to hold opinions and argue for policies that are factually indefensible. You can make your own list; I’m tired. Of course, age is materially different from gender or race, because age, unlike either of those states, has measurable deleterious effects that, while they vary in onset and intensity, are nonetheless real, unavoidable, and factors that must be taken seriously.
Generally denigrating someone’s words or actions for their age alone is bigotry and a form of ad hominem attack. Acknowledging that increasing age eventually makes diminished performance, illness and mortality more likely is simple biology.
- As with high performance athletes, outstanding intellectual performers may be “competent” at advanced ages, but their abilities usually diminish significantly with age. This isn’t a theory, it is fact. Aging is real. The more demanding the job, the more risks advancing age poses. Few artists create their best work after 60, much less 80. Why is that? It’s not a coincidence.
There are individual examples of remarkably endurance and continued ability in extreme old age. That does not mean that age doesn’t matter. The fact that individual A manages to perform competently in her 80’s does not mean that it can be safely assumed that all 80-year-olds will be similarly resilient.
- The two example chosen by the tweeter could hardly have been worse. Nancy Pelosi has shown alarming signs of age-related deterioration—listen to any of her press conferences. Ruth Bader Ginsberg has fallen asleep during oral arguments and at official functions. She increasingly makes public statements that she would have realized were inappropriate, indeed unethical, when she was in her prime. We have ample evidence of public figures continuing in high-performance jobs after age has reduced their energy, adaptability and judgement. Nobody can honestly watch video of Ronald Reagan when he was Governor of California and in his last years as President and claim that age doesn’t make a tremendous difference in performance.
McCain. Strom Thurmond. Diane Feinstein. It’s a long, sad list.
- And it has to be said: Biden wasn’t all that sharp in his forties.