The American Association of Retired Persons finds itself in a bind. CBS News says thousands of angry geezers are quitting the AARP over the Obama healthcare plan — even though the AARP has not officially endorsed the plan. “I feel they’re supporting it through the backdoor,” says one former member.
Defectors are said to be joining the American Seniors Association, which “calls itself the conservative alternative,” says CBS. (The ASA’s web site features the Capitol Building — which we didn’t consider heretofore a big draw for the elderly; a feller could get heat stroke waiting for security to let him in — and invites patriotic oldsters to “mail your TORN AARP card” to them for… a new ASA membership. What, no assault rifle?)
Rightbloggers do their bit and try and speak senior:
Obama’s treason has “reminded Americans why they dumped the Democrats during the Clinton escapades,” says AJ Strata, invoking the last Presidency during which the protesters could drive a car. Don Surber shakes a liver-spotted fist at the AARP for saying* the 60,000 defectors are “just a drop in the bucket” compared to their membership of 40 million: “I’ll tell you,” Surber warbles, “I didn’t make it 55 years just to be somebody’s drop in the bucket,” and removes the five-dollar bill he was going to put in AARP’s birthday card. (*Actually CBS says AARP said this, but despite the old folks’ hatred of the liberal media, there’s something about CBS that makes them credulous. Morley Safer, maybe.)
Maybe there’s more to this than the rightwing talking points indicate. It may have something to do with an influx of hippies and punks into the senior community.
Being quite wrinkly ourselves, we perceive that we are part of the neo-geezer target AARP is trying to reach with its recent “Over Aged Earth Loving Hippies” stories and Buzzcocks songs in their commercials. Since Dennis Hopper started telling new retirees, “Your generation is definitely not headed for Bingo Night,” the geezer pitch seems to have taken a turn for the modish and hippie-ish — even (to put it in terms you whippersnappers may understand) the hipster-ish.
Maybe this is what’s really turning off the AARP defectors. We are getting reports that the Republicans have been circulating the AARP Magazine issue with Springsteen on the cover (“The Boss Turns 60… He’s our blue-collar conscience, our rock ‘n’ roll sage”) to old-school geezers, and telling the old folks that Obama and this treasonous Chicago-style “Boss” want to play loud music in seniors centers to make them bleed to death from the ears so there’ll be more room for hippie orgies. When you reach a certain stage in life, this may be a compelling argument.
Even within the geriatric community, it seems, the young frighten the old. Where other analysts see a political war, we see seniors of a certain tenure withdrawing in horror as the barbarians with long, thinning hair arrive to fill their convalescent homes with the smell of reefer and patchouli.