If you’ve been paying attention to politics lately, you’re certainly aware that social media is playing a huge role in our national conversation. Just think about how our new president uses Twitter to get his message directly to the American people. And how a simple Facebook post launched a nationwide women’s march last month.
So I’m not at all surprised to see the way AARP’s social media channels have exploded in the week since we announced our new campaign to protect Medicare. We’re hearing from so many of you on our Twitter account and Facebook page, asking questions and sharing your perspectives. And your bottom-line message is loud and clear: If anyone thinks Americans will be complacent about attacks on Medicare, they’re dead wrong.
On a personal level, I’m fired up by your enthusiasm. I’ve long been a staunch supporter of our Medicare program because I know how well it works. Unfortunately, I also know that a lot of politicians seem to have forgotten that. Up on Capitol Hill, leaders in Congress have long been plotting to turn Medicare into a voucher system. Over the past few months, they’ve been holding closed-door meetings on how to make this a reality. Just this week, there was a story on page 3 of the New York Times with the headline: “A Republican Plan for Medicare Gets a Revival.”
It is heartening to see how many of you are joining our campaign. In our state offices, we’re hearing from countless volunteers eager to hit the streets and get petitions signed.
And we’re equally thrilled to see all the support that’s exploding in the online arena. So many of you have signed our online petitions and have tuned into our live Facebook chats. Our Twitter accounts are getting unprecedented likes and retweets. And your comments on our Facebook page are coming in at a rapid clip.
Listen to some of what we’ve heard:
“We need Medicare. We have paid into it for many years and should not have it cut so we have to pay more…. Thank you for standing up for us.”
“I hope that those of you too young for retirement [recognizes] this will probably impact you more than those of us currently in retirement. Get knowledgeable on this issue and reach out to your senators and representatives in Congress. This is serious!”
“Not only Medicare is the only thing we have to help us age with dignity, but YOU are our only line of defense.”
Personally, I can tell you we are happy to play that role. We’re proud to fight for you, and are happy to give you a platform to make voices heard. And if you really want to make some noise on social media, join our Thunderclap campaign, asking President Trump to use his coming speech to Congress to tell it to say no to Medicare benefit cuts. Click here to find out how!
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