“Being American”; How the Right Is Hijacking the Youth Vote on Facebook

Aug 23 2011 Published by under Uncategorized

The Being American Scam on Facebook

You might want to go check your Facebook Page to see if you “liked” “Being American”. Close to one million people have already liked it! How cool, right? I mean, yeah, you love being American!

But do you also love these poll results from “Being American”:

Did you know that you are also super concerned with the national debt and DC spending (um, yeah, this sounds so 18-29)? You embrace American exceptionalism, you’re worried about penalizing American job creators (oh, yeah, I hear this from all the 18-29 year olds), the young Hispanics among you prefer spending cuts over increased taxes, you see the debt as the number one security issue (I guess that’s ahead of the wars and the Republicans assault on our credit rating), you think DC is on the wrong track, and you want less government (because all college age kids are obsessed with how regulations are killing their corporate profits).1

None of these so-called “polls” give any info as to the demographic polled. Surprise, surprise!

Maybe you’re not feeling so Being American-ish now. You might be wondering why these views are being ascribed to you when national, reputable pollsters have found just the opposite. Well, that’s all part of “Being American”! See, “Being American” is a non-profit page put up by Generation Opportunity (now, that name just screams Right Wing talking points, doesn’t it? You would have seen that one coming, no doubt).

Generation Opportunity has their own pollster, their own PR, and well – they sort of exist to distribute those talking points among social media as if they were real. The question is, how did you get duped into liking Generation Opportunity (i.e., tax cuts for the rich)?

Future Majority laid out the history:

• In November of 2010, someone associated with what is now Generation Opportunity created a non-profit page called “Being American” in order to mislead people into becoming fans.
• On May 28, 2011, the page publishes a post about a new organization called Generation Opportunity asking people to sign up for the email list on the website. The profile picture is changed to add the Generation Opportunity logo at the bottom, though the thumbnail remained unchanged.
• On May 31, 2011, the page again solicits list sign-ups for a new organization, not mentioning to their fans that they themselves are the new organization.

In other words, “Being American” kind of means you’re “Being Scammed”. Nothing new there, but who expected to find Koch Brother tactics on Facebook? Sadly, your like is now being included in propaganda about how the youth in America don’t like big government and don’t think the government should help the poor, the working class, etc. See, you start with the Little Lie and work your way up. And what do we get? We get the Big Lie — more neo-cons hiding as grassroots independents, using “American” to hijack the unsuspecting into liking an agenda that helps the elite avoid any responsibility for the privileges of operating in this great country.

Are you wondering just how brash these folks are?

Here’s who they say they are:

A new national organization aimed at giving a voice to 18 – 29 year olds, known as “Millennials,” has entered the national stage. Generation Opportunity is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that seeks to engage everyone from young adults, early career professionals, college students, young mothers and fathers, construction workers, current service men and women, veterans, entrepreneurs and all Americans who find themselves dissatisfied with the status quo and willing to create a better tomorrow.

Generation Opportunity announced its first communications platform – “Being American,” a Facebook page that has already amassed a fan base of over 600,000. The page posts links to relevant articles and reports from sources ranging from the federal General Accountability Office (GAO), The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Brookings Institution, The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post and The Heritage Foundation.

And here’s who they really are:

The Future Majority reveals (I’ve paraphrased some of the extensive, excellent research done by Future Majority, but encourage you to read their entire article):

There are only three people publicly associated with Generation Opportunity: Paul T. Conway, the organization’s president, Kellyanne Conway, the organization’s pollster, and Matthew Faraci, Senior Vice-President for Communications.

Paul T. Conway, formerly Chief of Staff to George W. Bush’s Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao, also worked under Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff and he was staff at the Heritage Foundation.

Gosh, sounds non-partisan, no?

Kellyanne Conway, owner and principal of The Polling Company/WomenTrend, the firm responsible for the polls cited in Generation Opportunity releases. Her current/previous clients include The Heritage Foundation, Massachusetts Republican Party, Mercer County Republican Committee (NJ), National Republican Congressional Committee, National Republican Senatorial Committee, Republican National Committee, Republicans for Environmental Protection, American Life League, Americans for Tax Reform, Americans United for Life, Family Research Council, Family Security Matters, The Federalist Society, National Right to Life Committee, The Susan B. Anthony List, the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, as well as a number of other corporate, government, and non-profit clients.

Oh, yeah, I’m feeling the non-partisan! Looks to me as if Kellyanne could have been hired by the Bush DOJ and that’s saying a lot about her conservative cred.

And lastly, Matthew Faraci, Generation Opportunity’s spokesman. Faraci has been involved with Americans United for Life, among others, and is a spokesman for various Right wing causes who comes with several YouTube rants from the 2008 Republican National Convention. Here he is talking about how Sarah Palin has more experience than Barack Obama (um, only extreme partisans ever thought this was even remotely worthy discussing):

So, “Being American” also means you just might think Sarah Palin has more executive experience than Barack Obama? Oh, to be fair, this was before she quit halfway through her term, though anyone who vetted her saw that coming as she has a long history of cutting and running when work is involved.

You can’t even trust liking “Being American” these days. That’s how cynical and desperate the Republican conservatives have become.

In case you’re still holding out hope that “Being American” is still safe, since Generation Opp doesn’t disclose who backs them, and all of their online info is private, I wrote to them at their only contact us form on their website asking them to disclose who funds this “non-partisan” group. Here is the reply I got, “We are responding to an overwhelming wave of interest and will read your email as soon as we can.” I highly doubt they will do that, since they wouldn’t even tell the Daily Caller who was funding them.

But have no fear; the youth of America are not this easily fooled. Among many choice comments left regarding the talking points of this allegedly non-partisan Facebook Page, the future of this country left these:

“If I wanted to here sob stories from the rich i’d watch fox. Thought this group was gonna be fun, not tea party political.”

“A page called “Being American” should be about all Americans and about the greatness of our country as a whole and not simply a mouthpiece for right-wing ideologues. If this page isn`t going to honor the experience and wisdom of all types of Americans, then the name should be changed to “Being Conservative” or Being Republican.”

“As a general rule, let’s not put something from the Heritage Foundation on what is supposed to be a non-partisan page.”

“Hating “ObamaCare” AKA the “law of the land” is not what “Being American” is about. This page is partisan, and this page blows.”

Methinks the likers of Being American might also read or watch The Daily Show. Sounds like they are all wised up about the wily ways of the Right.

As esteemed anti-intellectual Right Wing hero George W Bush once said on national TV in Nashville, Tenn., on Sept. 17, 2002, “There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.” Indeed, George.

“Being American” on Facebook means Being A Shill for Corporate America, Fox News, and the Republican Party. Please excuse me for the redundancies. Also, pssst, 30 of my Facebook friends are showing as “liking” “Being American” and since several of them also have the union fist as their avatar, I’m pretty sure they got had.


1. List of Press Releases by Generational Opportunity:

June 14, 2011: As Economy Further Impacts Young People, “Generation Opportunity” Takes Flight to Educate & Organize Them on Current Issues
July 1, 2011: As Americans Prepare To Celebrate July 4th – Majority Of Millennials Embrace American Exceptionalism
July 8, 2011: Generation Opportunity Reacts to Job Numbers: US Department of Labor Jobless Numbers Underscore Mounting Challenges for Millennials
July 18, 2011: Generation Opportunity Poll: As Congress and President Battle on Debt Ceiling, Young Hispanics (18 – 29 Year Olds) Prefer Spending Cuts Over Taxes by Close to 3 to 1
July 26, 2011: Generation Opportunity Poll: Young Americans (18-29) Rate America’s Debt as the Top National Security Issue
July 28, 2011: Self-Identified Independents Ages 18-29 Say to Washington, “You Do Not Reflect Our Interests, America is on the Wrong Track,” According to Generation Opportunity Poll
August 5, 2011: More Signs That a Generation of Young Americans (18-29) Have Been Left Adrift by Joblessness as Anemic Jobs Numbers Are Released – Generation Opportunity Statement
August 18, 2011: Young Americans (18-29) Say Less Government, Not More, is Solution to Lack of Jobs in Generation Opportunity Poll

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