Then Drudge posted a link to an AARP Town Hall meeting in Dallas on Aug 4. AARP's representatives responded in an interesting manner to the opinions of the people they are supposed to be representing: the AARP employees walked out. Not exactly "the customer is always right."
The old folks had somehow retained the quaint notion that they don't work for AARP; AARP works for them. Silly old folks!
AARP's position was, effectively: "Let me try to explain this to you: Shut up!"
Here's a link to the vid; I think it's worth watching -- mainly, to show what passes for political debate in this country. It is the job of conservatives to pay for everything, and then just sit there and shut up while their liberal betters tell them what's in their best interest.
I went to the AARP web site, and lo! There is a URL intended to soothe my ruffled feathers and make it known to me, poor benighted soul that I am, why I should never fear -- Obama's rod and AARP's staff are there to comfort me.
Really, I can only withstand but so much insult to my admittedly substandard intelligence. ("He's not very smart, but he compensates by having a very thin skin," I've noticed, is not a compliment.) So I found a place on the AARP web site to make my views known. And here is what I sent them:
I am 55 years old, and not an AARP member. I knew the AARP tilted left, but looking over your web page, it looks like a URL off of the Democratic Party's official site. I can't tell if you folks think we're stupid, or are just hoping we're stupid. Either way, that talk of "bipartisanship" is simply an appeal for Republicans to sit down and shut up. Then I saw the video on YouTube where your employees couldn't stand it that old folks had opinions that didn't go along with your not-quite-carefully-enough-orchestrated encomium to the Obamacare initiative.
I always doubted I'd join AARP. Now I know I won't. You will never get my money.
Within a couple of minutes, I received an email response, written by some thoughtful AARP employee who had anticipated such concerns. You might call me a connoisseur of form letters. Perhaps the reader has never paid them much attention, but to me they are a wealth of information on how to cast opposing views and propagandize a viewpoint. This one from AARP is better than most. And here it is:
Thank you for contacting AARP to express your interest on the issue
of Health Care Reform. This issue has resulted in an unprecedented
volume of response and we appreciate your interest. AARP values all
opinions shared by our members and others, and your feedback helps
shape our position on this issue.
While we would like to respond personally to each and every
communication, we are unable to do so at this time. For those of you
expressing your support, we thank you. Should you disagree, we
respect and value your position. While we may differ on this issue,
we hope that we agree on the many other issues AARP supports.
Please note that we have not yet endorsed any comprehensive health
care reform bill. AARP is fighting for a solution that improves
health care for all our members. We have been working with leaders
from both sides of the aisle for many, many months, and we will
continue to do so. We know that the final package will include a mix
of ideas from both parties and both houses of Congress.
For more information on the many myths regarding Health Care Reform
and what AARP supports, please visit the following link.... [same one I provided above]
If your communication is of a different nature, please reply to this
email and one of our representatives will be more than happy to
Again, thank you for your patience and understanding at this time
and we appreciate your interest on the issue of Health Care Reform.
It’s truly the combined interest, energy, commitment, and passion of
our members that gives AARP the power to make life better.
Reading this, I grew so jealous of their superior intelligence and dazzling way with words, I decided to write a form letter of my own and send it back:
Thank you for contacting me to respond to my email expressing my disgust at AARP's shilling for socialism. This issue has resulted in an unprecedented volume of emails from me to AARP (this one's number 2). I do not value AARP's opinion, but then again I don't make my living by trying to talk AARP into joining me, so I am free to express my real opinion on the subject. AARP's feedback is not particularly valuable; I can go to a million other websites to get left-wing opinion if AARP were to go out of business as a result of this fiasco....
Not only am I able to respond personally to each and every silly position AARP takes, I am willing to do so once in a while, as you can see for yourselves.... Should you be a flaming liberal, like whoever wrote your "Divided We Fall" liberal talking points, I'm not sorry. Should you disagree, talk to the hand. While we may differ on this issue, you are still being paid to represent old folks and not the Democratic Party.... If you're flaming liberals on this issue, you're probably flaming liberals on lots of issues, so I doubt that we agree on much, but thanks anyway.
I note that you say you're not endorsing "any comprehensive health care bill." Again, do you think we're stupid, or are you hoping we're stupid? You say yourselves that you "know the final package will include a mix of ideas from both parties..." That sounds like a blank-check endorsement to me. You are lobbying for a bill that doesn't exist yet, and dismissing the conservative arguments, or caricaturing them as straw men.... Since old folks need more medical care than young folks, who do you think will suffer? Who do you think will be healthy enough to survive the five-year waiting periods? You don't work "with" Democrats; they simply use you as a propaganda tool to get over on the folks you're supposed to represent.
If I want "more information" about the "many myths regarding Health Care Reform", I will be sure to refer people to your web site as a prime example of propagating such myths.
Thank you for your smug condescension at this time, but I really don't appreciate your involvement in the socialization of the American economy, Chapter 11, "How to Ruin the Best Health Care System on Earth." It is truly the combined interest, energy, commitment, and passion of AARP's liberal management, plus the money of its substantially less liberal membership, that gives AARP the power to make life better for liberal politicians, bureaucrats, and their pet lobbyists, and tougher on everyone else.
I guess I really need to lay off of the Texas Pete -- sort of the "Dyspepto Bismol" of the angry Southern white male.