We are continuing a recent theme here today in which two of my favorite topics are going to converge: Social Security and in-your-face political activism.
I have been encouraging folks to take advantage of the recent Congressional recess to have a few words with your CongressCritter about the proposed Death of Medicare and all the proposed cuts to Social Security and now we have an opportunity to do something on a national scale, just as we did a few weeks ago in support of Social Security.
This time, we're going to concentrate on fighting the idea that retirement ages should go up before we become eligible for Social Security and Medicare (and elements of Medicaid, as well), and that Americans should just keep right on working until the age of 67 or so. Which isn't going to be any big problem. Really. Trust us.
Now that just makes no sense, and to help make the point we have a really cool video that you can pass around to all your friends - and your enemies, for that matter, since they'll also have to worry about what happens to them if they should ever make it to old age.
"...Art can create a climate of sensitivity in which it is possible for change to occur..."
Members of Congress are at home this week, and they love to go out and meet the voters - but it hasn't been as much fun all of a sudden for some of them, and there are several videos out on the web right now where it looks like members wish they hadn't been hanging out where the public could see them so easily.
Now some of these videos are loud and boisterous, but the one that should really scare Republicans was Charlie Bass's appearance in Hillsboro, NH, on the 4/20 holiday.
If you look at the crowd, they're older, for the most part. And for the most part they came to the meeting with their own information, meaning that they weren't so much looking for the congressman to tell them what was up as they were looking to tell Mr. Bass (who represents the state's second district) that they weren't too happy with him about this "entitlements reform" deal.
Now they weren't there with pitchforks and torches by any means, and a lot of them were supportive of many of the Congressman's other positions, but they were extremely unhappy about the idea that Medicare would become a voucher system (just so you know, Bass would insist that it's a "premium support system" whenever the word "voucher" came up), and they did not find the argument that "this won't affect you" very convincing, either.
In addition to the obvious question (basically, "Why would the plan be better if it only sticks it to our kids and grandkids?"), a woman from the crowd asked a question I don't think Karl Rove ever thought would come up: you might not be sticking it to senior citizens today, but what's to prevent conservatives from coming back in a few years and asking those under 65 why they should be supporting those old people and their "Cadillac plans" at which point it will be "stick it to the old folks" season, and Medicare will officially die, along with a lot more old and disabled people, sooner than they should have.
And he wasn't the only one to have a bit of a tough week at what used to be really friendly town halls: Pat Meehan (PA-07) got himself into a shouting match with his putative employers, so did Lou Barletta, he of Pennsylvania's 11th, and so did Catfood 2.0's architect, Paul Ryan, who had to face what he politely described as an "enthusiastic" crowd in Milton, Wisconsin.
To put it bluntly, the members are hating it, big-time, as it appears that their 2009 "Town Hall Goose" has suddenly become just a little too good for the gander.
And if we're already making life hot for these folks, why not just keep on pushing?
That's the idea behind "Don't Make Us Work 'Til We Die", which is an effort of the fine folks at Strengthen Social Security to highlight the fact that a lot of people right now are proposing to raise the retirement age; either to 67, or to something north of that. For the good of America, of course.
After all, if you're a firefighter, or a nurse, or maybe you work in the trades, or a restaurant kitchen, or you drive a gasoline truck, or maybe you're a smokejumper for the Forest Service, why would working until 67 be a problem for you?
Here's a video that makes the point very nicely:
(By the way, they would love for you to spread this video far and wide; grab the embed code and just go nuts - or, if you prefer, email the link. In the interests of full disclosure: I'm associated with the Campaign for America's Future and they're one of the members of the Strengthen Social Security coalition.)
On Wednesday and Thursday all of this goes outside and hits the streets all across the country, and to make it easy, the same website can help you find an event near you - or, if you live in Wyoming or something, you can attend the "virtual event" - either way, just visit the handy website and go from there.
So there you go. We have Republicans feeling mighty uncomfortable all of a sudden, we have a chance this week to get out in public and make the point in a bigger way. And now you even have the perfect video to send to that one relative who always forwards you Michael Savage's latest missives.
Now get out and keep the momentum going forward. Don't forget, it's really easy to look at the person next to you in line at the grocery store and say: "Can you believe how they're trying to screw us out of Social Security?"
That's about all it takes to get a pretty good conversation going and if you repeat that process about a million times well, that's how politics gets done.
FULL DISCLOSURE: This post was written with the support of the CAF State Blogger's Network Project. img flickr