Confronting the reality of age

Published February 16, 2024

WORLD Opinions

Talk about a Pyrrhic victory. When Special Counsel Robert Hur announced on Feb. 8 that he would not prosecute President Joe Biden for his mishandling of classified documents, Democrats were not taking a victory lap. They were in full damage-control mode over the report’s conclusion that Biden was not guilty because he did not have the mental clarity to be guilty. As a “well-meaning elderly man with a poor memory,” misplacing documents was only to be expected. As was, presumably, mixing up the presidents of Mexico and Egypt, as Biden did at the press conference that night meant to assure the American people that he was in full control of his faculties. Biden’s re-election chances tanked, with betting odds the next morning showing only a 66 percent chance he would even be the Democratic nominee—despite the lack of any plausible alternative.

At one level, it should hardly surprise that Republicans had a field day over the further evidence of Biden’s mental decline, or that most Democrats should stubbornly stand by their man. What is more telling though is the defense that many on the left have adopted, denouncing Hur, or anyone who echoes his conclusions, as purveyors of “ageism.” What, you may ask, is “ageism”?

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Brad Littlejohn, Ph.D., is a Fellow in EPPC’s Evangelicals in Civic Life Program, where his work focuses on helping public leaders understand the intellectual and historical foundations of our current breakdown of public trust, social cohesion, and sound governance. His research investigates shifting understandings of the nature of freedom and authority, and how a more full-orbed conception of freedom, rooted in the Christian tradition, can inform policy that respects both the dignity of the individual and the urgency of the common good. He also serves as President of the Davenant Institute.

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