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?

MLK: Behind the Marketing

April 4, 1968 is a very strong candidate for the most important day in U.S. history.

That day deprived the nation of a figure who, at the politically tender age of 39, was threatening to bring the country to the point of beginning to discuss social class as a problem needing redress; to do so in a way that made clear its centrality in the millions of lives that have been shattered by racism in this society; and to do so in a powerful democratic, indigenous, and multi-racial idiom.

“It didn’t cost the nation one penny to integrate lunch counters … but now we are dealing with issues that cannot be solved without the nation spending billions of dollars and undergoing a radical redistribution of economic power.” (MLK, February 1968)

You won’t learn any of this by surrendering yourself to the corporate media or the mainstream candibots, of course. There, the real MLK is anathema, despite the saccharine platitudinous advertising/speechifying they grudgingly trot out on days like today. The real purpose of such pitches is not just to cloak the overclass in the garb of “tolerance,” but also to distort and conceal the true message and dream in question. That dream was about actual, practical equality, not just verbal kindnesses. To date, there has been no greater threat to the scandalous, murderous, illegitimate, rampaging power of the rich in this, the engine and armada of corporate capitalism.

If you doubt this, take a look at these amazing, blatant red-baiting dismissals from CNN: