I don't know about all that pigeonholing and hyperbole, and I can't claim to speak for all Republicans and conservatives and for that matter Democrats or liberals or whatever other group if they believe what you said they said they believe about "evil program" and such, but sure, it's a good discussion. No harm in discussing, even if it won't change anyone's minds.
Social Security was originally designed to provide for people who were close to or beyond their life expectancy averages. That's probably a pretty sustainable program, if the retirement age is adjusted from time to time, and other changes were made (besides politicians' just continually raiding it). But that would require some kind of rolling retirement age, and then there would be "donut holes" for some age groups in the program like there are in other programs.
I guess "success" is pretty relative a term. Like comparing and contrasting various formats in a market and how they change, before or after they change, even when they aren't planning on changing.
SS was designed to work the way it was supposed to work. But even then, is that "success?" TAKING a percentage of people's incomes, and requiring empoyers to pitch in more, instead of just letting individuals save and invest that percentage on their own? 7% invested with a low-fee broker would probably result in more savings for most people than the return on a program with the bureaucracy of a Social Security, at least for most people. Anyone off the street should be able to "succeed" and keep things going longterm if TAKING money from every employee is a key part of their business model. It's still like a national lifestyle insurance policy than a "investment nest egg" it's portrayed as: if you live to collect it, you win; if you live to collect it for years, you really win; if you die at 62, well you gave it your best shot.
Compared to most of what government does, SS has been a longterm program. But is it's longterm status a result of its "success" or has it just been longterm because politicians didn't want to make their "take the money and run" policies official by taking what was already collected and not returning it? And would they have thrown in the towel somewhere along the line if it wasn't such an easy, already-established way to draw money from every employee in America? You have to wonder, through the years.
I could probably say it's been "a success" for a lot of people who have managed to last 10-20 years beyond their life expectancies. But even then, for some races and other groups, it's not really paid off for them. For whatever reasons they die younger, overall.
SS might get a blue ribbon and a certificate of participation, and a cupcake after the ceremony, but I still am not convinced it's a "success" and it's definitely not "successful."