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Tips for Politicians: Courting the Coveted Senior Vote

I recently sat down with a group of my contemporaries at the Pleasantville Seniors Center to discuss the state of the damned nation. Overall, we’re not impressed.

In an effort to help any politician who might be interested in turning this country around and snatching the coveted senior vote in 2012, I am pleased to provide a brief summary of our concerns, insights, suggestions and thoughts on the burning political issues of the day.

This topic generated a lively discussion and is without doubt the number one issue among the seniors I spoke with.

We all understand there is a crisis in the sector but if you cut through the bluster and political rhetoric you’ll come to understand that there’s plenty of damned health care to go around – we’re just not dishing it out wisely.

The major problem, of course, is that there are too many young people clogging up the hospitals. You can’t get wheeled into an ER these days without running over some layabout teen moaning on about his infected nose ring, venereal warts or skateboard injury. If we weeded out the nuisance cases and self-inflicted idiocy I’m quite confident there’d be ample to time to scope my colon, tune up my pacemaker and conduct further research into the development of bionic hips.

What we need to do is issue every American citizen a $1000 health care gift card each January and advise them to budget their illnesses wisely. If one of these damned young people goes on a “bender” in the first week and ends up needing emergency surgery, anal suturing and a gross of Tetracycline, they’ll either have to suck up the discomfort until next year or pony up the dough and pay for it themselves.

Seems to us seniors that if we really want to reduce our “carbon footprint” we might want to stop churning out young people that have size 17 feet before they’re out of puberty. I can lay down in their footprints for Christ’s sake.

Their damned t-shirts require more cotton than you’d find in the sails of your average merchant clipper and every time one of these lumbering giants sits down to a meal they decimate 3 per cent of the worlds food supply.

If we’re serious about cleaning up the environment let’s forget about smokestacks and try producing smaller people – they consume less, use less energy and create less waste. If we take the hormones out of the milk supply, bind their feet and get them smoking before 6th grade we can get this planet cleaned up lickity-split.

In general, we seniors are all for it.

In fact, some of us would go so far as to suggest that poverty be mandatory for every American under the age of 30. It’s a proven fact that being down on your luck builds character and deters waste. Just look at the men that came out of the great depression – they may have been surly bastards but there’s no denying they understood the value of a dollar and a hard day’s work.

A little financial desperation would do young people a world of good – and also introduce them to valuable skills like pigeon trapping, sock darning and the ABCs of Shantytown construction.

Once we teach damned young people that there is no shame in poverty, perhaps they’ll stop trying to buy their way out of it with money they don’t have.

The old boys at the seniors center were running out of steam by the time we hit this topic but the general consensus is we’re not overly concerned.

Like politicians, we don’t tend to worry about things that might occur outside of a 4-year window and are confident that when we finally give up the damned ghost there should still be enough crude oil floating around to fire up the crematoriums and power our escalator rides to heaven.

So go ahead and drill, mine or tilt at windmills all you like. As long as we have our sweaters and long-johns in the interim, we old folks will be just fine.

Next week, part two of the senior policy platform including issues of National Security, Economic Reform, Education and Seniors’ Rights.

42 Comments leave one →
  1. 9:40 pm

    Here’s my idea… for every dollar spent on a tattoo, the stupid kid has to donate another dollar to a health care fund. That should cover everyone else.

    • 9:56 pm

      Thank you very much, notquiteold.

      An excellent point and one that I will be sure to fold into our SCOOPP document (Senior Citizen Observations on Public Policy).

      We’re also coming up with a STOOP (Seniors Talking Openly On Politics). I’m sure that when combined, the two strategies will go some way to cleaning up Washington.

      I think we may have a version of your idea included in our “Stupidity Tax” policy paper I don’t think it spelled out details so, with your permission, I’ll amend our document to include your recommendation. I suspect that given current trends, this idea might have the country back in the black within 6 to 9 months.

      All the best and thanks for dropping in,


      • 9:53 pm

        No senior center would be complete without significant DROOP: Damn Reasonable Options from Old People.

      • Sedate Me permalink
        4:03 pm

        Sir, even a modest Stupidity Tax could probably wipe out the entire US National Debt in 2-3 years.

  2. 10:03 pm

    I understand that a higher percentage of Seniors vote than any other age group. So why is so much effort toward the youth vote? Promise hot soup, comfy armchairs, and lower taxes on orthopedic shoes and you’ll sew up the Senior vote. These youg kids might realize that the older folks can have a real impact as soon as the Senior voting bloc gets their elected officials to pass taxes on skateboards and higher hookah tarriffs.

    • 11:01 pm

      Thank you bmj2k,

      I have to admit that hot soup, comfy armchairs and lower taxes on orthopedic shoes sounds like a damned fine platform to me. Hell, I’d be happy to settle for comfy soup, lower armchairs and warm orthopedic shoes.

      Throw in mandatory curfews, sweater incentives and denture tax breaks and you may just have what it takes to get the top job, lad.

      If you don’t mind, I’d like to borrow that skateboard tax and hookah tarriff idea for our economic reform policy paper. I don’t know how we missed it but I think it’s a keeper for sure.

      Best regards,


  3. 10:09 pm

    What are your thoughts on binding feet of the american youth like they used to do in China?

    • 11:12 pm

      Thank you bearman,

      I’m not an expert on the subject Bearman but I think the Chinese approach was fairly gender specific and more of an aesthetic matter. We don’t necessarily have to bind, just stop buying them new shoes. I wore the same pair from grade 3 through to college.

      I’m looking at this from more of a common sense perspective – we’ll use less and produce more if we are small, lean and limber. Plus, when if it takes 6 miles of vulcanized rubber to fashion you a pair of adidas, it’s no wonder we’re perched on the edge of environmental ruin.

      As an ideal, I’d say your upward limit for an American man should be a height of 5’7″ and weight of 135 pounds.

      All the best and thanks for stopping by.


  4. 10:23 pm

    Taxing Tattoos like they do cigarettes? Funny blog, as usual. I think you damned old people rock.

    • 11:14 pm

      Many thanks Heidi.

      I think we’d need to more aggressive in our tattoo taxation but that’s the general drift of it.

      Thanks for the kind words re: old people and rocking. We do what we can.

      Warm regards,


  5. 10:24 pm

    Ross Perot, we missed ya!

    • 11:17 pm

      Thank you Elyse,

      And full marks to the man for only getting to 5’5″ as well…

      Best regards,


  6. 10:47 pm

    Loe the smaller people idea! Great suggestion! Like smaller cars, really. In fact, with smaller people, we could use more small cars!

    • 11:20 pm

      Thank you Team Oyeniyi,

      My point exactly. Everything could be smaller. And in addition to using less natural resources we’d all have considerably more elbow room.

      Best regards,


  7. 12:45 am

    Dear Donald,

    all of the changes will lead to multigenerations households. Will you be up for that?

    About the skateboard, my son has one, and he is a well-behaved kid,no tattoos, piercing, hookas or/and such.Of course heis on the younger side of the young people, so it all might follow.

    P.S. I started a blog Plenty of Reasons Not to Have a Baby (very recently, so there are only 13 so far). Of course what would you be writing about if people listened to me? 🙂

    Stay warm (It is freezing in PA)


    • 10:51 pm

      Thank you fornormalstepfathers,

      I’m actually all for multi-generational households – provided the old folks are treated with respect and deemed to have ultimate authority over the rest of the family members. Sadly, though, I suspect these days old folks living with their families aren’t given that sort of status and are either dismissed or bullied by their adult offspring. If that’s my option, I’ll be quite happy to remain on my own.

      Glad to hear your boy is well-behaved. Keep an eye on that skateboard though – I still maintain that they’re the most infernal device ever crafted by man.

      You’ll have to give me a link to that blog of yours. You’ve piqued my interest.

      All the best,


  8. 2:53 am

    I’m writing all of this down. Especially the binding of the feet. That will come in handy in case the young people forget to stay off the damned lawn. A smaller grass footprint is as important as a smaller carbon footprint.

    • 10:53 pm

      Thank you Ahmnodt,

      As important? Around the seniors home it’s easily 5 times as important. We’re rather fussy about our lawns you understand.

      All the best,


  9. 9:09 am

    Mandatory smoking. Now there’s an idea. As soon as you make something a requirement of growing up (like finishing high school or cleaning your room), the kids want nothing to do with it. This should drop the number of underage smokers down to near zero and allow politicians to congratulate themselves on a job well done.

    Of course, this would produce some troubling side effects, like self-satisfied politicians and a weakened tobacco industry, both of which would be nearly intolerable (especially if you’re a tobacco exec/lobbyist). If there’s one thing I hate, it’s a politician who thinks he or she has made a positive impact in their community. I also hate (to a lesser degree) multimillionaire CEOs lamenting a 4% reduction of their stock options thanks to unfriendly legislation while simultaneously signing a few thousand pink slips.

    • 11:02 pm

      Thank you Capitalist Lion Tamer,

      I have to admit I hadn’t considered the direct (or tangential) implications of my elementary school campaign “C stands for Cigarette”, “I is for Inhale” and “S is for smokey, smooth aftertaste.” I already had a “Nicky Nicotine” costume sketched out and was working on the first draft of a puppet show called “Just one Puff.” I had songs and everything, damn it.

      I’m all about job creation, not putting lobbyists, tobacco pickers and millionaires out on the street. Perhaps malnutrition would be a less detrimental option?

      All the best and thanks for the comment, CLT. Always a pleasure to hear from you.


      • Sedate Me permalink
        4:23 pm

        Sir, mandatory smoking is actually a bad idea. Why? Because it usually takes 30-40 years minimum before smokers start dropping down dead. It will do nothing to eliminate young smokers and, by extension, young people themselves.

        Forget tobacco. It would be far more productive to force them to smoke heroin, crack, embalming fluid, etc. Better yet, every month, they must steal at least one serving of drugs from a drug dealer. Not only would this wipe out the young smokers, it would sure make the local news more entertaining.

  10. 8:27 pm

    I think your idea of producing smaller people is brilliant. No more Amazon women on magazine covers, no more giant athletes earning millions, just freakishly small humans in positions of power and glamour.
    Hey, when are you running for office, you brilliant old fart?

    • 11:04 pm

      Thank you quirkyculture,

      It’s an ideal state isn’t it? I see it as a slightly larger version of munchkinland – only without all the damned singing and dancing.

      All the best and thanks so much for popping in.


  11. 11:45 am

    Rather than enumerate every point you’ve illustrated, suffice it to say that if I had been drinking a beverage, it would have spluttered out of my mouth. As it is, I have a crimp in my neck from laughing while bobbing my head like the stuffed dachshund in the rear window of a car.
    What newspaper would have the guts to give you a weekly column. I vote yes on every one of your referendums, replacing our current national referenDUMBS.
    Sail on Don, in a ship made of discarded T-shirts.
    I love your blog- and the brain that propels it.

    • 11:07 pm

      Thank you very much Bonnie,

      Always nice to hear from a dachshund lover. My wife, Aggie, introduced me to the 40 years ago and I have to admit I’ve become rather attached to the wee damned things. I’m still trying to train my latest to chase the damned young people off my lawn. He has the bark and the bite down, just doesn’t seem to have the legs to catch them.

      Thanks for the kind words and the visit.

      All the best,


  12. 6:08 am

    you would have thought that captain underpants…excuse me, john mccain, would have thought of all of that 4 years ago.

    • 2:58 pm

      Thank you Nonnie,

      Frankly, I’m surprised that both parties seem to have missed some of these obvious solutions.

      All the best,


  13. 8:07 pm

    Mr Mills

    I have not been to the old folks home in awhile so I know we have not spoken. I know how to get the old folks vote.

    First you tell them that whoever wins they will be channeling the spirit of Abraham Lincoln. You remember Abe you were boyhood pals right. Then you promise that bingo night will be free and transportation will be provided from the home to the voting place and back. And finally you tell them that you are going to raise taxes for all the young kids out there so jello night at the home will be more often. For all the older folk that still live in your childhood home…cant help you maybe you can vote on your great grandchildrens’ godamn I Phone….nice talking with you Mr Mills….zman sends

    Then you pro

    • 3:01 pm

      Thank you Zman,

      Nice to hear from you, lad. Trust you’re well.

      I appreciate the advice but we old folks don’t need incentive to vote – we look at is our civic duty, a nice outing and a chance to have our gripes formally recorded. I like the idea of funneling more money toward affordable jello though – provided of course it’s not one of those modern colors they keep coming up with to attract the damned young people.

      Always nice to send, Zman.

  14. 10:17 am

    Dear Donald,
    thank you again for another stimulating and illuminating glimpse of the pre-Alzheimer mindset.

    I find myself in agreement with most of you and your fellows’ arguments concerning all of the mentioned topic, apart from Energy.

    If the young have so much energy that they’re always running around with skateboards, scooters (for goodness sake youngsters, the scooter went out of style in the 60s,) and in-line skates, then we should encourage it.
    They don’t need automobiles.
    They should pass a law banning the under 30s (35s at a pinch) from owning any sort of powered transport, so making more fuel available to the real needs of the over 50s and 60s.
    Driving to the mall for a prescription renewal, or driving to the gun shop to get the upgrade on the .357 magnum, essential for under-the-pillow-storage before a good night’s sleep (I recommend the 10mm S & W, or even the Daewoo USAS-12 automatic shotgun) or driving to the RSA (NZ equivalent of the American Legion) for a jolly chinwag with blokes of a suitable outlook and character.

    Please keep the posts coming and for the next issue, could I recommend that when you discuss education, you recommend that the poor bloody teachers get retired at 45, before they start buying .45s and start winnowing out the undesirables from the student body.

    • 11:10 pm

      Many thanks Twisted Scottish Bastard,

      You make an excellent point. Keeping young people off the roads until they’re in their mid-thirties has numerous potential benefits. Not only would it save energy for the 8 cylinder behemoths our senior brethren prefer but it would make the roads safer and put a damned dent in that whole childhood obesity issue. Let them ride bikes – I did it for decades.

      I’m afraid I’m putting the next political issue on hold for a couple of weeks until I’m able to reconvene my little group. I suspect the education issue will be particularly thorny but I’ll be sure to take your recommendation forward.

      All the best,


  15. 2:20 pm

    Healthcare is also a big issue in the UK. We have National Health “Tourists” who come from other parts of the EU and beyond. While basic good quality care is not available to the aging English population who have paid into the system all their lifes through taxes etc. It makes my blood boil!

    Young unmarried mothers in our country have babies, demand social housing. and all manner of benefits rather than not get pregnant and get a job!

    Bah humbug! 🙂 LOL.

    • 11:14 pm

      Thank you kindly Piglet in Portugal,

      A health care tourist? My god. Still, I have to admit that the idea does have some appeal on the surface – mole removal in Aruba, prescription shopping in Hawaii, then off to Italy for some blood work and finally Greece for some sunshine and exploratory surgery. Package it as a 65 plus bus tour with meals included and I think you’ll find seniors everywhere lining up to join in.

      All the best and thanks for visiting.


  16. Sedate Me permalink
    6:37 pm

    Old timers take a really bad rap for not caring about the environment. That’s just not right. Despite there being nothing in the way of environmental science or leadership from above, old timers respected the environment intuitively and looked after it without hesitation. It was so natural, they weren’t even conscious of it.

    If the old timers didn’t care so much, why was public transportation so popular the 1st half of the 20th Century? Why did so many people travel by train? Why were most of the cars electric? Why did the Model T deliver fuel economy comparable to the average car of the far more technologically advanced 1990s?

    Most food eaten in the 1st half of the 20th century was organic, non-GMO, and had minimal carbon inputs. It was considerably more locally produced and was also purchased much closer to home than today. It was common for urban dwellers to grow some of their own produce and backyard chickens were not uncommon.

    They didn’t have nasty toxic cleaners poisoning the environment. Everything was cleaned with soap, vinegar, water and good ol’ elbow grease. There were no piles of plastic floating the oceans because almost nobody used plastic for anything. Everything came in glass bottles, recyclable materials, or no package at all.

    Every neighbourhood was a “walk-able neighbourhood”. And never mind dirty electricity, most rural folk didn’t even use any electricity for a good chunk of the 1st half of the 20th Century, except for what some enterprising folks derived from their own dams & windmills.

    In all, the lifetime carbon footprint of seniors that lived through The Depression is probably smaller than that of today’s 9 year old.

    No, it’s the young people who destroyed the environment. They smother Mother Earth with their stadium sized houses full of stuff they’ve never used. They drive tank sized SUVs everywhere, even to the neighbours house. They’re so fat, it takes twice the fuel to transport them and triple the food production to fill their bulbous bellies. They worship weekly at cathedrals of mass consumption, so those Chinese factories can keep spitting out pollution. And young people endlessly suck the electricity grid dry with all their tech-toys.

    Most young people couldn’t give less of shit about the environment and most that do are mostly in it for the chance to pat themselves on the back for “saving the world” because they bought some potato chips in a bio-degradable bag. Real heroic sacrifices there! That’s why nickle & dime environmental change merits scoffs from old timers, whereas change that requires real, punishing, sacrifices will win the votes of seniors. It fills them with nostalgia and tells them how right they were all along.

    Another great suggestion, sir.

  17. 9:06 am

    Will you be running for political office? If not, why not? You’re like Stalin and Churchill rolled into one.
    I can’t vote for you though, being a foreigner in a foreign land and what not.
    Kind regards and best of luck with the campaign.

  18. 10:48 pm

    That’s the best health care plan I’ve heard so far.


  1. A Senior's Perspective on the Nation - Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Conservatives, Liberals, Third Parties, Left-Wing, Right-Wing, Congress, President - City-Data Forum

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