You do have a point, but only in respect to competence. People below a certain age are restricted in certain activities because the society has determined that their maturation process has not yet equipped them to make certain choices/exercise certain rights. What those various ages of competency are is, and I think should be, debated, but there are some measurables that support the general concept as good policy. I don’t think there is much debate that there is some age below which people should be assumed to be incapable of consenting to sex, making long-term financial commitments, etc.
On the other hand, people of a certain age are assumed to be competent. Until proven otherwise. It is demonstrable that people of a certain age have a higher proportion of physical limitations that might, for instance, argue that they demonstrate competency in driving a car. When any person, regardless of age, is shown to be incapable of handling their affairs because of some infirmity, they can be legally declared incompetent.
The line is crossed into bigotry when someone is assumed to think, feel or act a certain way simply because they are old, young, black, white, disabled, gay, straight, fat, etc. There are very few areas remaining in polite society the U.S. where it is considered acceptable to judge people on superficial characteristics. That’s good. It should be beyond the pale. From my observation, I would say that it often fails to apply to old people, disabled people, Native Americans, and maybe to a lesser extent, fat people. Of course there are plenty of dark corners where such behavior is encouraged, and even celebrated. I see the BoingBoing commentariat as somewhat more enlightened than the general run of people, and find it unacceptable and distressing that reflexive judgments based on someone’s age can be freely thrown about, when negative assumptions about someone based on, say, race, would instantly wither under the righteous (and justified) anger of the community.
If someone makes a judgment they want to continue politics when they are advanced in years, then let them. They should be tested on their views, sharpness, fairly evaluated on their health and whatever else a voter might like to understand about them. But to say Joe Biden’s wrong-headed policy positions stem from his oldness, is, like I said, lazy and unacceptable. I don’t agree with everything Noam Chomsky says, but I think he’s over 90 and is active and makes cogent arguments. If you argue that he’s wrong because he’s an old fucker, you’re wrong.
But what do I know. I’m probably just an angry old fucker who is out of touch.