April 20, 2016
Texas Issues: Should We Be All Things to All People?
Texas issues: Why We Aren’t “All Things to All People.”
When the Texas Alliance for Retired Americans began to rack up some modest success, people started asking us to take on more issues. When an organization only has a few people, nobody cares about it. But after a few more become interested, then suddenly other groups and causes want our participation. These are major Texas issues.
In general, I oppose letting TARA take on Texas issues that aren’t directly related to our mission of standing up for seniors and the right to retire. It’s not that I’m not necessarily opposed to war, in favor of gay marriage, pro-life, and against global warming – to mention a few of the causes that have been proposed for us. My opposition is based on my commitment to building a successful pro-senior organization.
A “Broader Approach” is Actually More Narrow
Even though a broader approach, taking on more liberal causes, sounds on the surface like a good strategy for increasing membership, it isn’t. In fact, adding more “causes” is exactly the way to sow destruction into our future possibilities.
I’d like TARA to bring in everybody who is committed to seniors and the right to retire. Yes, even the ones who aren’t committed to women’s rights and gay freedoms. If they agree with us on our basic issues, we want to work with them! If they disagree on some peripheral or unrelated issue, who cares?
Every time an organization “broadens” to include more causes, they hack off part of their base constituency!
Effectiveness is Paramount
An effective organization is one with a narrow focus. If people want to work on global warming, they should look to the Sierra Club or one of the other excellent environmentalist groups, not TARA-EF. If they’re for women’s rights, I applaud them, but there are good organizations for that cause, too. Not TARA.
We’re an effective organization for seniors and for the right to retire. We’re not all things to all people, and can’t be if we want to remain effective.
–gene Lantz, president