So the election…any thoughts? If it helps, I hold a degree in Political Science and this election caught me completely off guard. Before I go farther, I will share that I did not vote for any of the Presidential candidates on Idaho’s ballot. I wrote in someone who I thought would make the best President of the United States, unfortunately this outstanding lady did not know I was going to do this so they had no chance of getting a campaign up and running. Maybe 2020 Jody? That said, I thought Secretary Clinton was hands down the lesser of evils of the candidates that were on Idaho’s ballot. I just couldn’t bring myself to accept “lesser of evils” as an acceptable choice for the President. You may begin yelling at me now left.
As a good Political Science student, I would like to take a moment and remind all of us that we are not a democracy; our country is a republic. The word democracy is used too much on the TV because it sounds better and makes for easier marketing. If you want to get technical, we are a “first past the post” winner takes all system, translation, Secretary Clinton wins the popular vote by a large margin but we have to say President Elect Trump. “You can always count on Americans to do the right thing – after they’ve tried everything else.” Winston Churchill
I see no fraud, reason, or logical reason why President Elect Trump shouldn’t become President Trump as it stands right now. It seems we must try at least one President Trump term. Our system, as it is currently designed, seems to have worked correctly. That said if I’ve learned anything these last 8 years from Senator McConnell and other Senate Republicans is obstruction purely for the sake of obstruction is a new American value. I have no trouble and encourage everyone to participate in the current protests going on in the streets. The one identity political group that I am proud to be apart of is the #nevertrump group. That mans twitter account rants alone should have prevented him from being taken seriously, his attitude towards women and girls should have put him in jail, and his engagement of the KKK should scare the hell out of all of us! If there ever were a job that we should demand someone that is smarter, more articulate, and more intellectually curious than you and I, that job would be the President of the United States.
For my Buddhist friends, I understand fully that two wrongs do not make a right. That is not why I am in favor of these protests. Yesterday, my brother posted on Facebook how one of his friends was called a “fucking faggot” by a group of white guys in a truck full of Trump and Confederate stickers. Within hours of the election, a local 6-year-old boy was told to pack his bags because Trump was coming for his family. On a national level, I saw a heart warming story were hundreds of students walked a black girl to class because she had been abused earlier by a Trump supporter gone wrong. Blacks, woman, gays, Hispanics, lesbians, transgender, and way to many others have a legitimate fear for their own safety and physical health right now, we have to be mindful of that! We need these protests because there is safety in numbers. Right now we need the collective security and comfort that comes from being surrounded with like-minded individuals. Sound familiar fellow chronic patients?
Now, can we quit calling President Elect Trump the anti-establishment candidate already? The only thing more established in American politics than the Democratic Party is the Republican Party. Establishment means a dominant group or political elite that holds power or authority in a nation. Trump is the Republican establishment’s dream candidate, much in the similar fashion as then Senator Obama or Senator Sanders was for this election. The difference between Trump and current Republican candidates is he is a lot more entertaining. That “OMG he said what” or “OMG he is not backing off “ was political entertainment of the kind our country has not seen before. As an educated Political Science, outside of building this mythical wall I saw very little to almost no policy or substance coming from the Trump camp. I did see an abundance of political entertainment theatre that played to people’s emotions, not their policy brains. As a long time political operative myself, it was a brilliant campaign strategy. “I feel like…” is more powerful motivator than “I know for a fact”…
We are now in a time period where campaigning through fear, one-liners, and the glorification of violence is the norm. To put it another way, politics is no longer about politics; it’s a business plain and simple. The trouble with that way of thinking is Starbucks or Burger King don’t have access to the worlds best military nor rely on every citizen to pay their fair share in taxes in order to survive. Government can’t operate like a business because it isn’t a business. Government should be thought of as a friend there when needed and willing to offer support and resources when the time is right, it should be so much more than another entity trying to make a profit and appease stockholders checkbooks. A government that seeks to make a profit is a scary situation I believe, then again I’m fully willing to admit that I’m the crazy one here.
One other thing, can we finally admit that the so-called era of political correctness, if it ever actually existed, is over? Allowing a transgender to go to the bathroom in peace isn’t political correctness, its human respect. Allowing a frat boy to say “I grab them by the crotch” isn’t politically correct locker room talk, it’s against the law even in a locker room. Allowing a candidate for President to get away with sexism isn’t politically correct “telling it how it is”, it is just wrong. One more thought for the left, you are not the police of political correctness. If I hear one more liberal white woman from Minnesota accuse someone else of co-opting X I’m going to need a university team to put my psyche back together. Much like the right doesn’t have sole ownership of racism, the left doesn’t have sole ownership of political correctness. We need to go back to looking for intent of someone’s actions and words; sometimes a bad joke is just a bad joke people. Remember, people over politics.
O.K. males, we owe woman an apology! Through our entire lives, we have never had to think about or wonder about having a male in the White House, that was just a given as the sun rising tomorrow is. We have never had our right to vote be questioned just because we are male even though it probably should have been. As a male, we have never had our gender called into question as to whether or not we are able to contribute to society. My chronic pain and multiple arthritis diagnoses doesn’t give a damn about gender, why should we when it comes to picking President’s. It shouldn’t. Being alive to see a qualified woman come within hours of becoming our next President was awesome, however, I am partly embarrassed because this should be a common event, not historical. Regardless of your own political beliefs, please take a moment and reflect on this. If your hatred of Hilary is that strong, then please take a moment and watch the video of woman leaving their “I Voted” stickers on Susan B. Anthony’s grave. That brought me to tears.
As a chronic patient, I have to close this post on the issue of healthcare. For those of you that don’t know, I was apart of then Senator Obama’s Presidential bid in 2008. That was a fun campaign, there was so much hope and willingness to work long hours thanks to the energy of Senator Obama. Thanks to that energy, I was a 100% supporter of a Single Payer System, my thinking was that the system at the time needed to be blown up and redesigned with all players involved in designing something better. I was incredibly dissatisfied with the ACA, aka Obamacare. Despite my dissatisfaction, I ended up supporting it for 2 reasons. First, and obviously the most selfish reason was the pre-existing clause. I’m a human with just as much right to healthcare as some billionaire. My pre-existing conditions should not be a determinate of whether or not I get access to quality healthcare. There should be no determinates to healthcare. Secondly, and as important, no health insurance company should be aloud to tell parents to go away because their child was born with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis or Cystic Fibrosis for example. Children are not profit centers or commodities that belong in a so-called “market based” system. As a country we should be able to support any and all parents going through such a scary time, that isn’t a socialism, that’s what a well-run government should do; help others.
I do not have actual numbers to back this up, but I feel like roughly 60% of the chronic population loves the ACA, 20% understands why the 60% loves it but feels like that number could have been closer to 90% with more work and less politics (I belong to this group), and 20% of chronic patients simply dislike the ACA because it came from a “liberal black Democrat” who was born outside of the country and is a closet Muslim (lets face it stereotypes are often more powerful than ones own health). Of all the candidates on Idaho’s ballot, I felt like Secretary Clinton was the one person most willing to work across party lines to continue to improve the ACA. More importantly, I believe Secretary Clinton was the only candidate that might consider allowing patients to be apart of trying to improve our healthcare system. President Elect Trump has not given me any indication that he believes the era of paternalistic medicine is over, just the opposite. I’m not sure of Clinton’s stand on the paternalistic issue, but I am sure she would be more open-minded to patient centered care than the Republican candidate.
For those of you that are shocked and disappointed that you are being unfollowed because of your support of President Elect Trump please simmer down. Trump campaigned hard on repealing Obamacare within minutes after taking the Oath of Office in January. He wants it gone on the first day of his term; his words not mine. Thanks to obstructionists like Senator McConnell and Speaker Ryan, much of Obamacare has been implemented by Executive Order and other Presidential spending methods; President Obama had to basically go around Senator McConnell and Speaker Ryan in order to implement the law. Now, when you consider President Elect Trump’s power does not even start until noon on the 20th of January, can you now understand why millions of chronic patients are scared? Most chronic patients do not have the time or access to all the Executive Orders, bills, and amendments to other bills that have been completed already in the name of ACA implementation. The fear of the unknown is very much similar to the years it can take before rheumatology patients can get a specific diagnosis. They have no idea what repeal of Obamacare means. Their health is being put into severe jeopardy because of a campaign speech line that got tremendous applause from the Republican base. In the case of healthcare, politics over people does not inspire confidence.
To reiterate, the ACA was not perfect by any stretch. The hard part of national laws and systems is someone will always be left behind, to be clear, this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try or give up!!! We all know patients that have not faired well under the ACA; however, we tend to forget our patient friends that are happy and content because they require less worry on our part. What we don’t get very often is the individual success stories of the ACA. It is much easier for the media to discuss successes of the ACA in terms of national numbers and its failures in terms of individual stories. That isn’t fair, even for this senior financial specialist I get bored and uninspired by only numbers. Clinton understood this and is on record stating she wanted to work with the ACA in the hopes of making it better. If we assume that my previous percentages are somewhat correct, that means around 80% of the chronic population is content and still willing to work for a better tomorrow. Let’s face facts, content is a major win for all chronic patients.
To be clear, I disliked Secretary Clinton because I think she loves the word I over We. In these times our country needs more WE in order to fight terrorism, continue to innovate and discover, and to continue with such programs as Precision Medicine. “How might we…” has proven to be a powerful design tool that leads to accomplishing great things for the problem at hand, not just another product or idea for a market to be sold. I don’t think Secretary Clinton inspires confidence, curiosity, or action either. She definitely has policy chops and understands the details of various policies/laws probably better than anyone. However, I want more. I want to leave a campaign speech feeling hopeful and inspired, I want my hairs to stand up like it did for Senator Obama. I want that “it” quality which I thought no candidate on my ballot had. Just for your own gee-whiz knowledge, my “ideal” candidate for President would be former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. I think her story is insanely inspiring, she is smart, compassionate, and knows the potential of a respected government versus one that is vilified for political gain. Mrs. Albright was my dream candidate in 2008 and still was in 2016 despite the fact she can’t run due to our constitution.
It is now 5 days after the election and I am still in shock. I’m afraid for my brother and his friends, I’m afraid for my fellow chronic patients, I’m afraid for all the people that currently feel physically threatened, and I’m afraid for our country. Nothing about President Elect Trump’s campaign and now his transition team inspires confidence or gives me hope for my or our country’s future. We need a statesman that understands the risks associated with the fear that is currently going through a country at a rapid pace, not someone who tweets about taking a presidential poop on his all gold toilet (he really tweeted that). We need a statesman that believes in the idea of “how might we…” not “how might I…”. Then again, according to Trump supporters and recent life events, I’m just another loser patient with a laptop so what do I know.
So it goes…