When our democratic President began his health care fight by inviting the industry to the table and not including advocates of single payer, we knew there was trouble ahead.
When, in December, the President supported caving on letting tax cuts for the wealthy sunset, in trade for the smallest of tax cuts for the rest of us, he claimed it was because we Americans were being held hostage. If only we were being held on a ship by pirates, he might have shown some courage and conviction, and fought for us instead of giving us up.
The message of this administration is, and has been from day one in office, that you can't beat them, we might as well join them. He is them. And he has let us know that we are powerless against the moneyed and corporate interests that own him as well as Congress and our courts.
So who was surprised to learn that AARP is caving in its defense of Social Security? AARP has not, for a very long time, been about the average American. With its increased lobbying power, AARP, like President Obama, grew away from the people who, in retirement, try to juggle expenses as the cost of living rises faster than Social Security benefits.
AARP will no longer defend those who work too many hours on their feet, teachers and Wal-Mart cashiers, police and construction workers, those who by age 62 will opt for partial benefits because they physically can no longer handle the stress of the workplace. They have joined the chorus of those who chant, "Don't worry, it won't affect you." They propose to let the coming generations, our children and grandchildren pay with their old age.
And they are counting on the greed and insecurity that has bred in this country to sell us out. That we will allow the next generations to suffer more years of hard work for less benefit.
Because it is not the AARP executive or the lawmaker that will suffer those extra years in the workplace. It is those people who are worn and tired, wishing they had time to spend with loved ones before they die, hoping they are not too sick to be able to eventually enjoy retirement.
Because we refuse to tax the wealthy and powerful, refuse to compel the greedy corporations to care for the country that feeds them. The corporate powers that brought us Tea Party health care reform rhetoric about killing grandma is not only seeking to block the health care reform that would care for grandma, but is controlling the debate on a budget deficit they care not a fig about, and convincing our leaders, and the powerful organization that once claimed to support us, that our children should pay for their wealth with their old age.
This is why, today, I am quitting AARP. They no longer speak for me.
I suggest you follow suit, and let them know when you do, that it is because they no longer support middle class Americans in our fight against the wealthy and powerful.
Rather, give your support to organizations like the Alliance for Retired Americans, and other organizations made up of people like us, who still speak for us.