Wednesday, August 8, 2007

AARP not tough enough

Let me tell you a question. Who is protecting the public face of older Americans?

This is a serious question laced with sociological and economic consequences.

Who is the guardian that will raise hell when a TV sit-com portrays a geezer as a dottering old fool? Who will orchestrate public outcry when a commercial marginalizes an older person? Even the cavemen are getting better media treatment these days.

Black people have the NAACP. Jews have the anti-defamation lawyers. Somebody mobilized all the Mexicans who have been protesting the immigration laws.

Who do old people have? AARP. That's about it. If you malign old people, AARP will publish a tut-tut paragraph in their magazine. AARP has 36 million members. And a nasty paragraph is the best they can do?

AARP is the biggest gorilla in America! What a waste of muscle.

Older Americans need a champion, somebody not afraid to kick some butt.

We need a new gorilla.


Ken Martin said...

I have no idea what the AARP is doing (or not doing) politically so I'll take your word for it, George, but if they're as lax as you say then you're certainly right about wasted power. Seniors need the equivalent of Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports, which not only tackles tough problems in print, for example hospital infection rates, but organizes and lobbies to change the laws. Maybe the AARP is too busy selling insurance.

Anonymous said...

What does AARP do? They send their magazine to me, they rolled over to the prescription drug industry. I believe most senior citizens would be hard pressed to find AARP's fingerprints on anything meaningful.

Anonymous said...

For one thing they peddle insurance or at least endorse it..which I understand is the original reason for the AARP's founding. Same old deal.."let's go make money off this or that interest group." We geezers do indeed need a dispassionate honest
champion! Dick Wheeler

The South Plainsman said...

I was a member for 17 years before I got fed up. They are primarily in the business of selling insurance, but are also the richest lobby organization in the country. But they really only play defense to preserve the staus quo. Anyone can see that as we approach having only two active workers supporting one retired person, something will have to give. But AARP makes it impossible for anyone to propose and pass anything to cure the problem. They are the ones that created the "third rail" of American politics. I decided they didn't represent me, so I quit.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what NOW, the NAACP, the AARP or [insert any other established acronym] is doing for progress?

Bloated organizations, whether they are a charity, church or corporation, tend to become empty caricatures of themselves. I think at this time in history we are at a loss for many true leaders willing to break the status quo.

It would be nice if America's obsession with youth culture (and subsequent dismissal of her elders) retired with the Baby Boomer "Don't trust anyone over thirty" generation, but if today's pop culture is any indicator, the problem is getting worse.

America's elders need to become more visible and vocal. The kiddos need to know that the geezers can still shove a boot up their (to use my granddaddy's tongue-in-cheek term) "conjunction."

We need the next Maggie Kuhn.

S.L.D. Cowen

Elder of Generation Y

Anonymous said...

How dare you expect any real viable action from AARP. The have not only survived but actually grown by not rocking the boat.
If they are so representative of the elderly, why aren't they raising old Billy with the loonies in congress that ripped off the Social Security funds. It's very convenient to blame the S.S.mess on whoever is President at the moment. In reality we are facing a S.S. crises thanks to the politicians who want us to believe they can handle our money better than we can.They proved their worth when they decided to move the S.S.funds from the lock box to the general account. Now they can pat you on the back with one hand while picking your pocket with the other.
Sadly the AARP has done nothing to correct this problem. They might rock the handout boat!! Goose

The South Plainsman said...

Way to go, Goose. We agree.

Anonymous said...

Looks like they're trying to be a little more edgy and straightforward.

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