The AARP has released a fake ad for a fictional candidate in an attempt to encourage informed voting. The imaginary Jack Phillips is running for an unnamed office in no state in particular, but he is losing no time in slinging mud at his equally fictitious opponent, Claire Lee. In true 21st century style, candidate Phillips has his own Facebook page, a Twitter feed, and YouTube channel, to boot. In a hysterical (but true-ringing) ad on the fake website, Phillips accuses Claire Lee of wanting to repeal the Declaration of Independence, being mean to kids, and giving jobs to robots instead of human workers. The ad sputters as the actors rebel against the ridiculousness of the attacks. The point is that voters need real information, not snark, lies and melodrama.
The actual fake ad cannot be embedded here but the creators give a tiny taste of the satire here:
The ad sends people to the American Association of Retired Persons site, with a customized voter’s guide featuring the candidates’ own words and AARP’s position on certain issues (the version for my zip code includes an option for information in Spanish.)
The AARP notes that — if past trends continue — two of every three voters in the 2010 elections will be age 45 and older, or double the number of voters younger than 45. In keeping with its mission of serving Americans over 50, the AARP voter information focuses on only a few topics: The Economy, The Deficit, Social Security, Medicare Fraud and Access to Doctors. While these are undoubtedly of interest to older voters and all voters, there are other issues (war, environment, climate change, education, etc.) that deserve more than equal consideration when casting your vote, no matter how old you are.
Informed voters are the best weapon against special interests and the political money machine. Love AARP or not (they are one of the most powerful special interest groups in Washington), this campaign is a breath of fresh air. Let’s hope the real Jack Phillips of this world don’t stand a chance.
Image: Still from Jack Phillips campaign "ad"