We Didn’t Leave AARP… AARP Left Us

| September 25, 2012

The report of the AARP convention booing Paul Ryan the other day made me just shake my head and smile wryly at fools who’d boo the man trying to save their bacon while they remain content to blindly follow a leftist leadership that has sold its organizational soul to liberal orthodoxy. Like millions of Americans I received my courtesy membership to AARP upon nearing fifty, some two decades ago. At the time, this free milestone membership, available to all Americans of that age, was the source of much merriment among such new members’ younger friends and colleagues. But membership did offer benefits, among them, a free monthly magazine, which back then was a rather colorless, stodgy production full of unappealing ads for drugs, insurance and esoteric health aids we new readers hoped we’d never need.

That bland format began to change during the 1990’s to a much slicker, more professionally produced publication featuring more bright colors and dynamic graphics; it was easy to see that the AARP magazine had been taken over by an entirely new journalistic crew. Such changes would have been welcome were it not for the fact that they accompanied a change in content, from the usual, relatively neutral advice to seniors on issues that were pertinent to their specific demographic, to political advocacy regarding larger social issues that reflected a decidedly leftist sympathy. I thought of them as Newsweek in a wheelchair.

Initially, conservative readers had to wonder if the AARP board had allowed a bunch of liberal journalists to hijack their periodical, but as time passed it became increasingly apparent that the entire organization had performed a major sidestep left. As with leftist infiltration everywhere, the takeover was implemented at a measured but unrelenting pace, but to any AARP member holding conservative political views, and there were then millions and still some remaining, the coup was obviously complete by the time of the 2008 presidential election. The organization we had foolishly believed to be representing the interests of all seniors, was by then representing only those seniors who subscribed to the increasingly politically correct views of AARP’s leadership and their masters, the Democrat Party.

Just as we had to do with TIME, Newsweek, National Geographic, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN and the Democrat Party, many conservative seniors had to accept the reality that AARP no longer made even token efforts to represent their views. Just like all those others, AARP had left us, without our having changed a thing. Those of us who realized this early were not lone voices in that hoary wilderness for long; more and more conservative seniors were waking up to the fact that they were dues-paying members of a huge, leftist, lobbying organization that was using its significant heft in Washington to push legislation not in their best interests, most specifically, Obamacare. It was AARP’s strong advocacy of that legislative monstrosity that awakened many seniors to the fact they had been sold down the river by their benevolent old buddy, AARP. Those seniors began departing in droves. Other organizations quickly came into being to provide similar services to these disaffected seniors.

Now we learn from Kim Strassel in an article at the Wall Street Journal, that AARP was not just sympathetic to the Democrat effort to ram through universal health care legislation, it was doing much of the pushing and shoving to force this bloated atrocity through the knothole in the legislative fence. Even more disturbing is that AARP was clearly getting its marching orders directly from the White House, a fact revealed by emails just released by a congressional committee. From the WSJ article:

The emails overall show an AARP leadership—Policy Chief John Rother, Health Policy Director Nora Super, Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond, Senior Vice President David Sloane—that from the start worked to pass ObamaCare, before crucial details pertaining to seniors had been addressed. This crew was in constant contact with Mr. Obama’s top aides, in particular Nancy-Ann DeParle and Jim Messina.

Clearly, AARP was not advocating independently for seniors but for the Obama White House and the Democrat Congress. The emails show AARP was collaborating also with big labor leadership in this effort as well. A sellout of such huge significance should cause remaining conservative AARP members to question their continued affiliation with an obvious tool of the Democrat Party and Big Labor.

For those reading this who retain your AARP membership solely because of their Medi-Gap insurance coverage, be advised, there are many alternatives and the AARP programs may not be the best available to you either cost-wise or benefit-wise. Shop around. You can join other senior advocacy organizations for senior discounts or simply ask for them individually. If a business offers only an AARP discount to seniors and not a broader senior discount, point out to management that they are discouraging your patronage and probably that of a significant sector of their business. And don’t be shy about it because they will listen.

For example, I recently sent a certified letter to the CEO of a major hotel corporation pointing out that to qualify for a senior discount at a his hotels one must produce proof of AARP membership, while at Marriott, the other chain I use most frequently, any senior qualifies. That discrepancy results in my staying with Marriott far more often than with his chain. In this letter, I pointed out the dissatisfaction of many seniors with AARP and how his corporate policy could be driving away business, just as in my own case. He never responded so I have no certainty it was my letter that provided the impetus, but within a month his chain’s website began posting a senior discount separate from the AARP discount. Their IT people still don’t have the kinks worked out on the booking process but at least they’re moving in the right direction. The point is, many big corporations may not be aware of how disaffected so many senior Americans are with AARP and need wake-up calls and/or certified letters.
As so many Republicans like to say, myself among them, we didn’t leave the Democrat Party, the party left us. The same can be said for AARP. Let them live with the results

Crossposted at American Thinker

Category: 2012 election, Barack Obama/Joe Biden

Comments (26)

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  1. NHSparky says:

    Thankfully I’m still a few years away from the half-century mark, but if at the “Big 5-0” I get an AARP membership, I’ll laugh it off along with the bottle of blue M&M’s gag gifts and shitcan the membership before the cake is cut.

  2. UpNorth says:

    Sparky, what I do with the AARP crap is remove any identifiers from the literature, put it back in the return envelope that AARP has to pay postage for if it’s mailed, stuff some newspaper in there, too, and mail it back to them, making sure it weighs more than 16oz, so maybe they have to pay more. And, an employee has to open it and look through it, trying to find out if it really is an application for membership. Costs them money, wastes an employees time, which also costs them money.

  3. defendUSA says:

    Amen, PT…the AARP sucks balls.

  4. Yat Yas 1833 says:

    I saw that and promptly cancelled my AARP membership! Sparky, mind your manners when dealing with your elders, boy!?!:o

  5. Jumpmaster! says:

    I will not be joining the AARP and all of their membership offers that I receive go straight into the “circular file’.

  6. ChopIT says:

    “Generation America” is the conservative alternative to AARP. Chuck Woolery is the spokesman for this group.

  7. Bubblehead Ray says:

    I refuse to join any organization who’s name sounds like the last word of a guy having a coronary. Bad juju.

  8. Bubblehead Ray says:

    “Mr Johnson, Mr Johnson, are you OK?”


    “Shit! Call code Blue!”

    Gives me the willies I tell ya.

  9. Wild Bill says:

    Like upnorth, I have been sending their stuff back hoping it takes time and money to open, I also staple it together just to make it hard.

  10. Twist says:

    I have to worry about hitting the big “4-0” before I worry about hitting the big “5-0”. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for making me feel like a puppy again.

  11. Dean says:

    AARP was started by retired members of the California When I got my complimentary at age 50. I did some research and every Dimocrat that ever thought about running has been backed to the hilt by them. Independant? Yeah, Right LOL

  12. Dean says:

    Misprint above. I meant to say California Teacher’s Union retirees.

  13. Jeff says:

    I don’t know much about AARP, but i’m guessing like a lotgroups, they were started by Conservatives and taken over by radical leftist. I remember years ago, Amnesty International was a conservative founded group, it has been long taken over by hard core leftest, the Sierra Clubm was also started by a Conservative group and hijacked by hard core leftest.

    Seems life everything we start, they take over and heaven forbide they ever take over the NRA.

  14. 2-17 AirCav says:

    @2. Dame UpNorth. One of us should be worried. I do the exact same thing for the exact same reason.

  15. 2-17 AirCav says:

    Bwahahahaha. That was supposed to be Damn, not Dame.

  16. Old Tanker says:

    I have a few years left before 50 but I’d already come to the conclusion that I wouldn’t be joining AARP after the Obamacare crap…they won’t be getting my money!!

  17. Ex-PH2 says:

    AARP started hitting me up 30 years ago. I threw out everything they sent me. I still get their stuff, so I shred it. I had not thought about shred and return, but I will now do so. Thanks for the idea.

  18. Norton says:

    Just received my renewal to the Moose and they said I would receive a free 1-year membership to AARP. Whoa Nelly, no way! After ranting a bit, I discovered that there was an opt out offered. They sent a confirmation notice, which I hope works.

    Just a word: I never served but enjoy reading the posts and comments here. Keep up the good work.

  19. Devtun says:

    Maybe a sign when legions of left wing celebs pop up on AARP covers – I mean their mission statement says “non-partisan” somewhere in there i’m sure.

  20. valerie says:

    Public organizations may start out with vigor and a public purpose, but over time they tend to become redirected by their employees, unless some outside force intervenes. And so the Red Cross, the March of Dimes, MADD, NOW, any number of unions that enjoy compulsory membership rules, as well as various animal charities have all engaged in behavior that was not at all anticipated by their founders.

    In my opinion, AARP is an organization that now is run for the monetary and political benefit of its own employees, and not necessarily in the interests of its membership.

  21. Eggs says:

    I think AARP can live without money from me, after all, they sponsor a major NASCAR team and that’s pretty expensive. In 2007 in was estimated at 10-15 million a year, probably closer to 20 these days. And AARP has a deal to sell that space on the car to other sponsors.

  22. streetsweeper says:

    The AARP will never receive one plug nickle from me. Those commie jack-offs can go sit in a corner and stroke it for all I f’ng care and anybody that remains associated with ’em can join ’em…FQQking losers.

  23. streetsweeper says:

    In case anyone is wondering. I’ve kept abreast of these a$$hats and knew they were backing the AAHC bill. Every demonrats wet dream….

  24. Ernie Rink says:

    AARP are crooks.

  25. John K. says:

    When a U.S.Congressman running for the Vice Presidency at
    an AARP convention, gets booed repeatedly and treated as if
    he is vermin, I kept thinking about the seniors who are such
    a large part of my ministry. They show respect to others and
    act accordingly.
    Paul Ryan was repeatedly interrupted, just as he was by Joe Biden, 82 times, during their so-called debate. The moderator
    never took Biden to task for his disrespectful behavior; of
    course not, as she agreed with it. The AARP spokesman who
    walked on stage as Mr. Ryan had completed his attempt to be
    heard, did not apologize for this terrible behavior on his
    membership. Rather, he acted as if it had never happened.
    I taught school, college/university and for the prison
    system for about twenty five years. I would not allow anyone
    to show less than good manners and respect for each and every
    person who walked into one of the rooms or auditoriums where
    I taught. AARP is supposed to represent seniors in an
    intelligent, forthright manner. AARP is supposed to be unbiased. AARP is supposed to represent America’s values, such as decency and fair-mindedness. What happened? Paul Ryan
    show tremendous composure in both the debate and in trying to
    speak before AARP. Every senior who wanted to him was denied
    that right; however, Mr. Biden was treated like royalty when
    he addressed the AARP. What does this day about AARP today?
    Very little, very little indeed. John K. Galveston, Texas

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