Social Security — which turned 88 years old this month — is one of my grandfather’s greatest legacies. It’s no exaggeration to say that this is a high stakes time for his landmark program. Powerful opponents of Social Security are calling for privatization, cutting the annual COLA, raising the retirement age, and even “sunsetting” the program.
Upon kicking off her presidential campaign this week, Nikki Haley said politicians 75 years of age or older should be subject to mental competency tests. It was a cheap political shot at President Biden and her rival in the primaries, Donald Trump. But it was more than that. Haley’s statement is blatantly ageist. Of course, of all the -isms (racism, sexism, able-ism, classism, etc.), the targeting of older people remains one of the most socially acceptable – probably leading Haley to believe that her jab at senior politicians was safe. That doesn’t make it any less offensive.