Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Cold-Blooded Debate

When I saw my PCCC ad against extending the social security retirement age on YouTube, I was dismayed at the first crazy mean-spirited comments.  Basically, a couple of idiots contended that I should stop whining and get a job, and that I was just lazy.  Amazing that they could even write, given their listening skills.

I knew, from my son's comments regarding a recent Rachel Maddow YouTube video, that there is a vast membership of idiots in YouTube; apparently the anonymity allows them to do the internet equivalent of crank phone calls.  What a riot, showing the world how stupid we are, they must think.  Let's publish really ugly things about people and then laugh like crazy.

I recalled that Maddow has a wonderful healthy attitude about all this, making wisecracks on her show, once saying something like she felt flattered that the insult involved her actual political philosophy and didn't involve calling her a man.

But then there was the Keith Olbermann interview with Jonathan Alter on Countdown.

It was amazing that I was there, not just on national television, but on Countdown, in the middle of an analysis of the battle to make changes to social security.  I have great respect for Alter, and in fact his comments regarding what Obama might say Tuesday night and why were thoughtful and made a great deal of sense, although I hate the politics that are controlling this discourse.

I was stunned, though, when he made it personal.  "That woman in the ad...she made it sound as if Lindsey Graham wanted to take away her social security."

Well, no I didn't.  I actually said, "...people like me just won't make it."

And in fact, whether it be next year (which the republicans dare not even propose) or in forty years (which they will), people like me will still exist, and will be in great pain when they retire, whether it be at age 62 (when when they wouldn't even be eligible to collect full benefits) or age 70.

Alter failed to hear the real argument, because he works up in the stratosphere where health care is plentiful and affordable, and you take taxis if you don't feel like walking, and when your job makes you tired, there is no one there making sure you punch in and out and take no more than your allotted 15 minute break.

One of the snarky comments either on YouTube or one of the online articles about the ad was that I should quit and go on disability (which, according to other snarky comments, would make me one of those people sucking the government tit, regardless of the tax dollars I put in to the disability fund).

As ugly as the comments of the anonymous internet cranksters are, I am far more offended by the personal tone to Alter's criticisms.

Because, you see, I know that Lindsey Graham is not going to take away my social security.  What he will do, however, is make my children pay by working longer for less.

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