Dear American Seniors Association, I received your “Please Join Us For A ‘Shred Your AARP Card Rally'” notice the other day, and I thought, “seriously?”
When I first wrote about you back in August, after you made the news for attracting disgruntled AARP members that were angry about Obama’s health care plans, I questioned whether you could capitalize on your new media coverage and become a serious driving force in elder policy. I even sent you emails, offering suggestions.
I am not anti-AARP, but I thought your arrival could present an opportunity for healthy dialogue and new ideas. I have never felt that one view accurately represents all views. I had hoped you would become a respected, helpful organization that delivers honest information and new perspectives on elder policy.
I wrote about you again in October after I saw changes to your website, that you had started offering insurance, and I told people how to join. I noted that I had yet to see any professional research or resource work for seniors, however, only greater attention on generating revenue. While I understood the importance of securing cash flow in order to operate, that was the only work I was seeing.
Then in November I wrote about you one more time, saying I was disappointed in your distortion of the facts on the “death panel” subject. Now I see you are hosting an event for people to shred their AARP cards.
I am still disappointed, and I am losing hope.
I fully recognize that the AARP is a political organization and that they favor a certain agenda, and I have no problem with the fact that you do, but . . . seriously?
Can we as a nation, with you helping us, try moving away from anger and hate in public discourse? We are facing serious, complex public policy problems as our country ages – ALL of us – our seniors, the caregivers, and the children facing the long-term socio-economic impact from the elder wave’s wake.
Please, disagree with others if you like, I encourage it, but do so in a warmer, more informative and helpful way. You are still new enough to shape your identity.