Diary

Time for an AARP “Membership Check-up"?

HERE WE ARE, well into the 2012 presidential election run-up. And, lo, whom do we find larger than life across the cover of the September|October 2011 issue of AARP the Magazine? First Lady “I’m-ashamed-of my-country” Michelle Obama—fashionably outfitted and coiffed to appeal, I’m guessing, to Middle America in general and to “Retired Persons” in particular. “The First Lady and Jill Biden set out to help America’s military families,” reads the storyline title.

Such timely timing by the American Association of Retired Persons, whose “mission statement” declares is “a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization for people age 50 and over . . . dedicated to enhancing quality of life for all as we age,” and to providing “a wide range of unique benefits, special products and services for our members.” Sounds socially good at first blush; but it’s the slippery phrase, “nonpartisan membership,” that begs the question: What, exactly, is a “nonpartisan membership”?

I’m anything but “nonpartisan”; and the AARP organization, it turns out, is anything but “nonpartisan,” which is also true of its membership thousands, who are as divergent in political thinking as DNA segments are divergent in their sequence. Where is the nonpartisanship in extolling Washington lobbying out of heartfelt concern for retired seniors while selling them out by actively supporting the Obama healthcare plan? A conundrum.

AARP doth protest too little. You’d have thought AARP would have instantly “lobbied” hard against the Obama “plan.” But no: they ignored the crushing trillions in debt Obama saddled this and future generations with, and (2) they effectively supported legislation that would cut Medicare benefits to “help pay for” that debt. A chimera. In today’s real world, such cuts would financially hurt the millions of retiring baby boomers and diminish the quality of their healthcare and life. If you’re one, would you want exposure to a possible “early death” caused by a treatable sickness, simply because some anonymous government bureaucrat determined, “treatment is not appropriate and is ‘not covered by Medicare’”?

Such was the first clear sign of “nonpartisan”AARP’s tendentious support of Obama, his agenda, administration, and the Democrat party. It wasn’t enough members suffered AARP’s insult in not polling us first before deciding to support Obama’s government-controlled plan for socialized medical care. No wonder AARP membership dropped by the thousands.

No flat-lining the bottom line.
But then, who can blame the 53-year-old AARP for wanting to survive? Such “support” is to be expected of many businesses whose best interests depend on the actions of the ruling administration. AARP certainly enjoyed the 80-plus millions in federal funds (our tax dollars) they received in years past—not to mention their expectation of becoming a premier vendor under the Obama healthcare plan. It’s no stretch that AARP taps into membership dollars and the huge federal largesse to pay for its lobbying, print and electronic publishing, and smooth, omnipresent marketing—the latter, an “arrangement” now called “crony Capitalism,” where government rewards select financial favors among the private sector for certain political “returns.”

Reviewing the check-up report. But on the eve of this failing president’s fourth year in office, we members certainly don’t have to help pay for the “arrangement” apparent in AARP’s campaigning and shilling for Obama himself, “Obamacare,” and the First Lady. Not when our national survival is at stake. That AARP effectively supports and abets one of the most adversarial, ineffective, and destructive presidents in history should be axiomatic. What informs us ordinary people of this are the soaring grocery, utility, and fuel bills; a dizzying, high unemployment rate; virtual below-ground housing starts; record home foreclosures; catastrophic failures of businesses nationwide; failing banks; a moribund financial market; a raided and depleted U.S. Treasury; endless pallets of printed fiat currency; the rise in costs for medical insurance, care, and medicines; rampant doubt and angst throughout the nation that, ironically, is taking an awful toll on our national and personal health.

And yet, Barack and Michelle Obama continue to “work the crowd,” disingenuously manipulating select segments of American society in seeking votes for another four years of dubious public service. With AARP’s blessings and help. Millions of senior voters need to see the Obamas featured by AARP are no friend of the American “middle class”; no friend of senior Americans; no friend of retired Americans; no friend of AARP members; and, still, during this crucial vote-building period, no friend of the active military and us veterans. The Obamas have known it from the outset, and we millions now know it, notwithstanding the campaign contrivance of an “outreach” program “to help America’s military families.”