AARP, Shut the Hell Up!

Politics and marketing make Satanic bedfellows.

Witness the remarkably dishonest and harmful “Divided We Fail” advertising campaign being pushed by the hateful and corrupting American Association of Retired Persons.

In the ad-episode presently running on CNN, the voice-over claims AARP favors “financial security for all Americans.”

Balderdash, in the ultimate extreme.

Take a look at the “platform” page for this evil rearguard lobbying scam. There, you see that the AARP’s definition of “financial security for all Americans” means not income and wealth redistribution and/or repeal of our notoriously pro-business labor laws, but merely “financial incentives to save,” plus this lovely gem:

Americans of all ages should have access to tools to help manage their finances, and save for the future and better, easy to understand information to help them increase their financial literacy and manage their money wisely.

See? It’s like Steve Martin’s old self-help advice on “How to Make a Million Dollars” — Step 1. Get a million dollars…

And health care “for all”? You guessed it: By that, the AARP simply means the “opportunity” to purchase “affordable” insurance. How either end of that will ever materialize without single-payer public health insurance, the AARP, remaining squarely opposed to the “partisan” (as it would serve the masses not the overclasses) idea of single-payer, does not say.

In reality, the four main “partners” in this AARP assault on the window of opportunity we now have (with the “bipartisan” status quo of using high office to obstruct popular reforms being even less popular than ever) include not just the addlepated SEIU, but the Business Roundtable and the super-reactionary National Federation of Independent Businesses!

No wonder “Divided We Fail” lists in its core principles the counterfactual, dogshit insistence on “finding bipartisan solutions.”

No genuine and serious proponent of ordinary people’s interests should come with a mile of this steaming pile of worse-than-hopeless political trickery. Why rescue the Republicans and the business Democrats right at the moment when they stand utterly discredited? Why imagine that increased “bipartisanship” would solve any problem, to say nothing of health insurance and economic security for all?

United We Fail

One sign of the advanced illness of our democracy in the United States is not just the inordinate importance of “lobbying” (i.e. bribery), but the fact that the second most powerful lobby after business is the American Association of Retired Persons. No offense, but the elderly are both the most economically privileged age group, and people over 65 already have national health insurance (Medicare). Hence, the lobbying leadership of the AARP can’t help but be a generally harmful thing, whatever small achievements it may include for working class seniors.

Consider the AARP’s shockingly wrong-headed and ill-timed “Divided We Fail” advertising campaign. Coming at a moment when pressure for national single-payer health insurance could, with enough public pressure and genuine leadership, have a real effect on an incoming Democratic President and Democratically-dominated Congress, the AARP chooses instead to push for the preservation of “bipartisanship.”

When asked why she couldn’t possibly create single-payer health insurance if elected, the walking disease Hillary Clinton avows that “you have to include” the Republicans “in the process.” Why? If you are the President and have the votes, why not pass the needed legislation?

The real answer to why money-oriented “leaders” make such Orwellian statements is that, beneath their constant claims to the contrary, corporate shills like Clinton and the AARP are utterly hostile to universal health insurance. The only way to get that is single-payer, and the only way to get THAT is to flip the middle finger to its opponents.

The record is as clear as day: In Congress, “united” we fail. To stay “bipartisan” is to insist on the status quo of staggering unfairness, irrationality, and inhumanity in our medical system. To hell with the AARP for obscuring that blatant fact.

P.S. It’s also rather interesting to see that the Service Employees International Union is one of the “Divided We Fail” campaign’s major co-sponsors. This supposedly maverick AFL-CIO breakaway union is now, post “rebellion,” lobbying for bipartisanship! Orwell couldn’t make this shit up. Despite 50 years of worsening betrayals of labor, the shrinking AFL-CIO has been an increasingly subordinate wholly-owned subsidiary of the Democratic Party ever since the early Cold War purges of political unionists. Now, rightly complaining that the AFL-CIO is a dying parody of a union federation, the SEIU is stabbing boldly even farther to the right…

As MLK said, “this is a sick society.”