Monday, November 06, 2006


AARP: “Don’t Vote!

The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) tells the public, “Don’t Vote!” And as suggested here, CBS News thinks that’s a really good idea!

In what might be the most irresponsible public service campaign yet devised, the AARP wants to get your attention by hollering, “Don’t Vote!” in a crowded election campaign.

I’ve been meaning to comment sooner, since first seeing these ubiquitous ads since late last week.

Before I even read the AARP’s justification, I can imagine they are making the argument that an ill-informed vote is a bad vote. (Gosh, I think that “bad votes” from a large amount of Americans, and certainly a majority of Democrats, if their current attitudes towards Iraq and global terrorism are any indication.)

I can’t say I’d argue with that logic, nor with the AARP’s decision to act on it, if I wasn’t convinced they have ulterior motives, and using their consider heft among senior citizens to take a partisan position.

They say they want the public to learn more about candidates’ positions on the issues. Okay, I’ll bite. I click on their “Don’t Vote!” website. I figure, with as provocative a PR campaign title as “Don’t Vote!” the AARP wants to help make the issues clear. Perhaps they’ve queried candidates on issues of importance to Seniors. Perhaps they’ve provided a rating based on votes. I don’t know what else they could have done, just some kind of “value-added.”

So what do we get from AARP?

A listing of candidates by state for Governnor, US Senate, and US House of Representatives. If the Candidate has an official website, a link is provided. I guess that’s helpful, unless you have a gerrymander-protected public official like Mike McNulty (D, Green Island, NY), who doesn’t need to bother with such efforts, because he inherited his job. Oh, and a feed of news stories in which the name of the candidate appear.

That’s it.

I can’t help but feel that, in an odd way, the AARP has made a political calculation that encouraging their membership to stay at home benefits the AARP’s partisan political objectives, and thus their pet projects, this election.

Senior citizens tend to be more conservative, with a fair amount of independents. There was once upon a time, I’d bet they trended Republican as well.

Now the AARP has been probably the loudest voice against the dishonestly labeled “Privatization” of Social Security. Now I realize that the GOP hasn’t been talking Social Security meaningfully in months, if not years. But there is no doubt that the Democrats have been pushing a fight against any kind of reform that allows workers to self-invest any portion of the Social Security contributions.

If Democrats win either or both Houses of Congress, any attempted redesign of Social Security is dead on arrival.

Whether mainstream media (MSM), gay activists, Hollywood, the UN, Human Rights non-governmental organizations, the CIA, State Department, CAIR, and countless others –Democrats are calling on all good progressives to do their part, contribute directly or indirectly with whatever in kind support they can provide, to defeating the GOP in these midterm elections.

Is it too paranoid to suspect that AARP is just doing their part?


For the next 48 hours or so, for any Election 2006 pieces, I’ll link to Andi’s World, in support of Andi’s Get the MILBLOG Vote Out Campaign!

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