I have the bad fortune of working for a company with an IT Department that has equipped our computer network with an excellent email spam filter, so I miss out on all the swell opportunities to date or marry women from exotic foreign countries, buy Viagra®, check my credit score, get unbelievable deals on high-end brand-name products, collect sweepstakes winnings, borrow money, dodge taxes or help yet another unfortunate person from Nigeria transfer some money.
When something out of the ordinary hits my inbox, I tend to treat it with healthy suspicion.
I was in a quandary this morning when “Sender: Warren Bancroft, Americans for Inequality – Subject: Americans for Inequality to Endorse Mitt Romney for President” slipped past the spam filter and popped up on my email program.
“I have no idea who Warren Bancroft is,” I thought.
“Americans for Inequality; well, at least he’s being upfront about where his head’s at.”
What I didn’t think about is how often misdirection is the name of the game for political advocacy groups. An oil company might form a front organization called “Citizens for Protecting the Environment” to make the case for drilling in a pristine wilderness area. “Fair Access to Government” might advocate for making the process of getting an initiative on the ballot more difficult than it already is.
My curiosity was sufficiently aroused. I clicked and prepared myself for reading an extremist’s diatribe.
Here’s the press release I got instead:
[Manchester, New Hampshire] The Board of Directors of Americans for Inequality, a citizens’ advocacy group which promotes the benefits of inequality, voted to endorse former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (R) for President. “The Board of Directors voted to emphatically endorse Governor Romney’s candidacy for President” said Warren Bancroft, interim Chair of Americans for Inequality. “Americans for Inequality is prepared to commit considerable resources to help make Mitt Romney the next President of the United States. …
In the 2012 Presidential campaign, Americans for Inequality has been the first organization to educate voters about the benefits of vast inequalities. Americans for Inequality has been a pioneer in changing the narrative away from the costs and perils of inequality—and toward a new appreciation of how inequality plays an important and beneficial role in our economy.
“For far too long the poor, unemployed, and elderly have been coddled by America’s generous welfare system and exempted from contributing their fair share in taxes, while banks and companies have suffered under an oppressive regime. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan’s budget plan will mostly rely on ending the era of entitlement and providing tax relief for upper-income households. That’s the beauty of the Romney/Ryan plan: the higher the income, the higher the tax break. Their budget plan will ensure that inequality will remain with us, as it should, for many years,” said Bancroft.
The Americans for Inequality endorsement was not, however, a unanimous one. One member of the Americans for Inequality Board voted against the Romney endorsement.
Chester Prattfield noted how inequality has accelerated under President Obama, and that it could continue for another four years. “The current recovery has been the weakest and most unequal recovery since WWII, both in terms of income and wealth. The financial industry is back on its feet and corporations are making record profits. Class mobility and opportunity are declining as inequality becomes entrenched, and that’s what we want to see. But there is room for improvement. Job creators do 100% of the work, but from 2009-2011, they only received 88% of the national income. And companies such as Exxon Mobil pay as high as 2% in federal taxes—they need relief.”
“While I voted to endorse President Obama, and will continue to personally support his campaign, I understand and respect the decision of the Americans for Inequality Board,” said Prattfield, Americans for Inequality co-founder. “I appreciate the thoughtfulness the Board of Directors has put into this decision.”
Now, you may agree or disagree, strongly or otherwise, with the political statements being made, but it’s tough to deny that straight-faced satire is one of the most entertaining, and powerful, forms of communication available.