It used to be that the AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) was seen as one of the most helpful and beneficial organizations in the country. They were considered relatively non-political, or at least non-partisan with their main agenda of promoting issues for seniors.
That has all changed in recent years, primarily because of ObamaCare. AARP was an early supporter of the legislation and has never wavered in their support. But even they admit that AARP has lost a significant number of members who disagree with their view on healthcare reform.
Many seniors, especially those with a conservative mindset, are seeing their once loved organization becoming more and more left-leaning. These seniors are unhappy with what they see as the group taking their annual dues and using it for activism that focuses on ideas and policies that are contrary to what they believe.
Not only are millions of seniors leaving AARP, there is a lot of anger and resentment. Former members have not only stopped renewing their annual memberships and paying dues, they are cutting their membership cards in half and sending them back. Senior citizens are also sending back AARPs advertising mail costing the group postage in the process.
All this begs the question about what happened. AARPs leadership insists they are still a neutral, non-partisan organization. Of course, the fact they support just about all the parts of ObamaCare calls this stance into question. Years ago there was little opposition to AARP. It would have been unnecessary for another group to brand themselves as a ‘conservative’ alternative for seniors advocacy. Now there is the Association for Mature American Citizens, with 1.5 million members and growing.
Many senior citizens see the AARP moving more and more in lockstep with the Democratic Party over the past few decades. This has led many seniors to no longer consider the group to be an independent voice. This has led to anger over the role AARP played in the passing of ObamaCare. In fact, many argue that if not for the huge amount of support given to ObamaCare from the AARP, the law itself might never have passed. Seniors are also concerned that AARP is putting more left-leaning members into positions of power such as state level posts within the AARP. Of course, the organization claims that when it comes to senior citizen advocacy, these leaders are considered strictly on the basis of their non-partisanship.
To support these claims, you only have to go back to the Wall Street Journal in 2012. That was when the WSJ published a number of emails between high-ranking AARP officials and the White House. These emails made it clear that AARP was really working as a propaganda machine for Obama and the White House. These emails did not go unnoticed by the AARP membership, many of whom reacted so negatively that the former executive president John Rother had to send a letter to the White House. The letter urged the keeping of “a little space between us and the White House” since “we are more influential when we are seen as independent.”
What do think about all this? Has the AARP become nothing more than an extension of the Obama administration? Do their membership losses surprise you? Do you think they will continue losing members?