Preface:  Since posting at this blogsite nearly two years ago, I have tried hard (if imperfectly) to avoid using personal references (e.g. “I…me…my”) and opinions, choosing instead to let facts and evidence drive the narrative. Today, I am breaking from that pattern and for what should be obvious reason.

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My mother-in-law (“Mom”), now well into her eighties, resides with her husband in an adult retirement facility. Plagued with some serious illnesses, he has made extensive use of Medicare over the past several years; so much so that any threat to the ongoing availability of that program would create real financial jeopardy for both of them.

Imagine the reaction then, when Mom received a forwarded, widely distributed  e-mail from another resident, the contents of which outlined some drastic changes in Medicare; in particular, seniors’ access to it. With one exception to be cited shortly, the document had the appearance of being not just informative, but legitimate.  Though emotionally distressed, Mom none the less was able to move beyond her own self-interest, and send  the communique out to those family members who are already Medicare-eligible or soon will be. That is how I became a recipient.

Reading through the document, the aforementioned “exception” immediately caught my eye. It involved some obvious “digs” at the president, congressional Democrats and Nancy Pelosi in particular (1). Having encountered other patently and identifiably right-wing e-mails with the same telltale bias and finding them through fact-checking to be of dubious validity, I smelled a rat.

It didn’t take long to discover that both FactCheck.org and Snopes had reviewed the e-mail in question, researched its claims, and found them to be completely without foundation. What could not be determined was the original source for the deceitful communique; i.e. who authored and first got it circulating. Therefore, I cannot claim as a fact that the original source was a conservative. Still, based on my past experiences (see above), it is hard to avoid that conclusion.

What we have here, just ahead of the November election, is a bald-faced attempt to terrify seniors into “panic voting” for one party. Such a shameless gambit takes on added significance when recent evidence suggests that voters, age 65 and older, have begun to back away from their longstanding affiliation with the GOP (2).

Taking the foregoing into account, let me repeat what I have posted in earlier blogs:  We are getting a long, hard look into a domain occupied by unprincipled scoundrels and knaves who, willingly fall back on the world’s most frequently used excuses for bad behavior – the end justifies the means. That they have chosen to inflict their deceit on some of the most vulnerable members of our society makes their actions even more reprehensible.

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1. The authors of these manipulative documents, intent on creating the impression of credibility, just can’t seem to help themselves; i.e. they compromise what they are up with the insertion of one or more hateful, snarky comments that not only give away their bias, but raise doubts about their truthfulness.

2. See “Are Seniors Souring on the Republican Party”; 8-10-2013 at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/08/are-seniors…

 

 

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