An America United Like This Will Die

April 28, 2008

You may have heard the commercials being run around the country sponsored by the AARP as part of their "Divided We Fail" campaign. If you have not had the nauseating displeasure of hearing these ads, here is the deal. The goal of these advertisements is to demand that questions be asked of the Presidential candidates as to exactly how much more government they will impose on us because there are people in America that are not, perish the thought, happy.

Of course this whole campaign is not so blunt because the obvious response by most Americans to such a claim would be, "Well, duh! Join the club!" As Benjamin Franklin once said, "The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself."

The "Divided We Fail" campaign is all about, in a nutshell, adding yet another soon to be bloated government entitlement to the books - taxpayer funded universal health insurance. To further that goal the AARP has been actively soliciting sob stories from anyone who is willing to sell their soul and make heart wrenching commercials to further the expansion of Marxism in America and aid in the destruction of our Constitution. Their thought is that you would have to be a complete jackass to dare even criticize any of the messengers they have found who aren't *sniff* happy.

Hey, what do you expect? The core constituency of the Association of Anti-American Retired People is, after all, suckling at the largest teat of the government pig and digesting billions of unconstitutionally collected tax dollars each year in the form of Social Security, Medicare, etc. So why wouldn't they feel it would be a good thing to do more of the same?

Unfortunately for the AARP, it takes a lot more than a sob story to make me feel like holding my tongue. I care about the truth. And the truth is that the AARP is about as despicable as they come. They are trying to destroy America by turning us into a full blown nanny state, as compared to the half blown one we currently have, that would rival all the great top down schemes of the past. The same schemes, mind you, that have failed utterly and collapsed under their own gluttony.

In one commercial, for example, you'll get teary-eyed as the woman that is featured discusses how she and her husband both work and have spent every spare dime taking care a son with autism. They just want the best for him. So noble - so brave - so worthy of our compassion. At this point you really want to help her. Your hand might even be moving towards your wallet to see how much you could spare to donate.

But then her story continues and you know that you'd better stop your hand before you get taken for a ride. She begins to bemoan how they have no savings to speak of at the age of 48 and can't even think of retiring. You now realize that her story isn't one about how she and her husband are not able to provide the best care for their son but a sob story about how she isn't getting what she wants out of life and is not, in essence, happy.

Well boo hoo. I know, how "mean" of me right?

Hey, I'd like ten million dollars and never have to work another day in my life. But I don't have that luxury. We all have bills to pay and choices to make about where our money goes. Her choice, which is the correct one, is to take care of her son at the expense of her own future financial well-being. But what she is doing by signing on to the AARP's campaign is trying to convince Americans that they should let government help her retire. That is despicable and quite frankly I'm calling it what it is; anti-American.

Why is it despicable and Anti-American? Because being able to retire is not a right and ensuring that she should be able to certainly is not a role of government. Read the Constitution. It's not like it's not widely available!

Sure, being able to retire might make her happy, but she made her choice that helping her son made her happier than saving for retirement. But while she is happier, she apparently still is not "happy" enough. That's where you come in. You should pay for her son's health care so that she can save for retirement and be happy. But then the obvious question becomes who is going to pay for your retirement when the money you were previously saving now goes to her benefit?

Don't ask that question. You are just "mean" if you do.

But it's really not cruel or mean to suggest that she could just do what the rest of us do when we need money. She could work.

Unfortunately, too many people have decided that indeed there actually is, somewhere, a right to be happy despite all evidence to the contrary. Perhaps if we squint really hard we'll find it?

This right to be happy apparently encompasses being able to retire at a certain arbitrary age whether or not one has the money to do so, get government provided health insurance paid for by other tax payers because one is owed it for all their years of hard work and service to the motherland, and so on.

Folks that believe like this feel that when tragedy befalls them and life knocks them down that government should answer the bell and help them out by taking money from someone else. And if you dare disagree, just remember that government has lots of people with lots of guns and the ability (not the authority though) to make your life miserable if you even question their right to act in such a way. And believe me, they really do have what it takes to take what you've got. All in the name of compassion, of course.

What separates the Americans from these Anti-Americans however is simple. The Americans accept that happiness has to be caught by ourselves; that we have to hunt for it, stalk it, and sometimes come home from the hunt empty handed. People like me, for example, take out tens of thousands of dollars in loans to attend college and actually commit to paying it back. We buy a smaller home than we want because it is what we can afford and don't expect government bailouts because we haven't over extended ourselves. We wait six years before having a child to make sure we can afford it. We even work two jobs to have enough money to put away and help ensure that in the future we have a higher likelihood of being happy.

Americans, true Americans, never expect that happiness is a guarantee. But for some of us we get lucky and actually do find happiness. We have a beautiful and loving wife and a precious little girl that we would do anything for. The house, the car, the bucks in the bank, yeah, they help but that's not what makes us happy. And here is the kicker - we do lots of things that make us unhappy to make ourselves happy. If you think I like working two jobs think again.

We Americans know that we may not get to a point where we can retire and never have to work again. The stock market might crash and all our investments may go buh-bye in the blink of an eye. Someone could break into our homes and steal everything we worked so hard for. Someone we care about might even suffer an unspeakable tragedy and it may wipe out our savings. But we still work towards our goal and we do whatever we can to get there because it would further our happiness if we made it.

But the Anti-Americans, the "American'ts", don't believe in such a course and certainly don't like the uncertainty that they may work so hard all their lives and possibly never get to retire. So to get what they want they believe someone else should be forced to pay for them to be happy.

Maybe this is because the thought of actually having to ask someone face to face and personally for help and having to justify getting said help frightens them to death. They would just rather go to the faceless government, fill out a form and stick out their hand hoping to be deemed worthy.

Heaven forbid though that you do the right thing and what people have always done when they needed money. You know, keep working to support yourself? Not everyone crosses the finish line at the same time or even at all for that matter. That's life and that's America.

Ultimately however if the AARP's "Divided We Fail" initiative actually works, convinces enough Americans that they do indeed have a right to be happy and that government should enforce that right at gun point America will become united. But it would be "united" America that would fail because it would be an America that has discarded the very basic foundation upon which it was built.

Go ahead and destroy the columns of a building and see how long it remains standing.

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Copyright ©2008 J.J. Jackson

J.J. Jackson is a libertarian conservative author from Pittsburgh, PA who has been writing and promoting individual liberty since 1993 and is President of Land of the Free Studios, Inc. He is the Pittsburgh Conservative Examiner for  He is also the owner of The Right Things - Conservative T-shirts & Gifts. His weekly commentary along with exclusives not available anywhere else can be found at Liberty Reborn.