Janet M. LaRue

When it comes to Social Security, Republicans should stop treating seniors like the feeble-minded demographic portrayed in commercials written by 13-year-olds on Madison Avenue.

It’s like the home security commercial targeting seniors for a medical alert pendant to be worn around the neck. White-haired “Mom” didn’t want one because “it was for “some old person.” But daughter, seen patting Mom’s hand, “talked Mom into it.” Next we see “Mom” carrying a basket of laundry down a flight of uncarpeted stairs without holding the handrail. Sure enough, Mom’s lying at the bottom of the staircase pressing her alert button because she’s fallen, broken her hip and can’t get up because “the pain was terrible.” “Mom” and daughter are so glad that she was wearing her alert and could summon help.

You expect to see a disclaimer at the end: “Don’t try this at home. These are actors who are paid to behave stupidly. You could hurt yourself.”

Madison Avenue convinced the marketing geniuses at the security company that they can sell more medical alerts by scaring seniors even if it insults them. I don’t patronize a company run by upstarts who think senior is synonymous with senile. I doubt that many seniors do.

Gov. Mitt Romney and political commentators, such as Karl Rove and Dick Morris, are treating seniors as condescendingly as the commercial. To hear them tell it, if Gov. Rick Perry calls Social Security a “Ponzi Scheme,” seniors will have a seizure, and press a political alert hanging around our neck, which will connect us to the Obama campaign.

Not likely, unless we fall down the stairs and land on our head.

Seniors didn’t put Barack Hussein Obama in the White House. Those of us 65 and over are the only voting bloc who chose McCain over Obama—and by eight percentage points.

Obama’s disapproval rating is at 55 percent and his approval rating is 44 percent. It means that other voting blocs are beginning to wise up to what seniors knew in 2008. Seniors are the least likely group to vote for Obama in 2012.


Janet M. LaRue

Jan LaRue is Senior Legal Analyst with the American Civil Rights Union; former Chief Counsel at Concerned for Women; Legal Studies Director at Family Research Council; and Senior Counsel for the National Law Center for Children and Families. Be the first to read Janet LaRue's column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com delivered each morning to your inbox.