Reg's Blog

Senior and Post-Acute Healthcare News and Topics

One Week

One week from today is the national election for president, every seat in the House of Representatives, and one-third of the Senate.  Additionally, there are numerous gubernatorial elections and local or state-wide races at issue.  No other nation on the face of the earth affords, nay protects, the rights of all of its citizens to partake directly in government.

The U.S. is unique in that its government is a representative form of democracy.  We directly elect those we wish to represent us at every level of government; local, state and national.  The power, used correctly, is that each voter contributes directly to current and future outcomes of the governing process.  The power used incorrectly, or in my view abused, occurs when we get government by abdication.  Power can be used correctly to instill direction and movement.  It can be misused, creating havoc, uncertainty and upheaval (Syria, Egypt, and Libya come to mind as recent examples).  Power can also be fallowed; left unused and thus on-the-shelf, inappropriately placed perhaps waiting for some future opportunity.  In our form of electoral process, power is given and protected often at great human cost, with the intent of use, not misuse and not left unused.

In 2008, the national election was prized as a great example of engagement and voter turnout – just a shade over 60%.  In terms of turnout of the voting age population, the number was just under 57%.  By any statistical measure, more than one-third of eligible voters abdicated their individual power and decided that the other less than two-thirds would decide their course for the next four years.  While I have no statistics in terms of how many voters merely failed to vote for a national race yet participated locally, I suspect the real results are inverted – they voted nationally and failed to cast a local or state-wide vote.

Projections for this cycle suggest a lower turnout than in 2008.  How sad.  Even sadder is the certain lament I will hear from folks about the outcome, the course of the country and the assorted woes and struggles that are apparent for most who choose to abdicate their power.  The disconnect between how “things” work and who influences direction is a crevice that demands attention.

Like the candidates or not, next Tuesday is a monumental day in the U.S.  To anyone paying attention, the choices on our ballot are clear.  As I have said before, I am not partisan moreover, opinionated for reasons I articulate in my writing.  Frankly, I could care less how people vote, just so they do.  Government by abdication scares me in what is left of this free (or mostly) society.  I fear slippage will continue if we can’t marshal our collective rights, utilize them, and express our personal and where applicable, collective opinions.

As I wrote previously, elections have consequences.  Those who vote typically understand the consequences far better than those who don’t vote.  Today, the potholes and sink holes are fairly evident yet what we fail to grasp is the depth.  Like all elections, this one is consequential but for reasons perhaps to economically wonky and policy wonky for many to grasp.  I just hope that the sense of either right-course or wrong-course is palpable enough today to muster a stronger turnout than predicted.

For me, the direction is clear.  I am at heart, an economist and a policy guy.  I love the detail and spend much of my days working with folks on the guts and outcomes of health and economic policy.  I think I see the big picture and gravitate to the broad solutions rather than the micro.  I am after all, someone who has built businesses and had success by finding solutions and compromises across broad issues and strategies.  I think of things as issues where convenience breeds unintended consequences and follow most acutely, the wise words of my father: ‘Tell people the truth, even if you know it’s not what they want to hear, tell it to them just the same”.

I know election hype is less about truth in the media or the debates as people seek style rather than substance and the forums provide little opportunity for substance.  Yet substance is available for those who seek it.  Records are public, depicting action and inaction.  Most outcomes are known or knowable for those who want to ponder and probe just a tad deeper than the conventional news cycle.  Character is fairly displayed.  We can frankly, make clear decisions with sound logic on the policies and ideas that matter and if brave enough, tune out the conventional opinions, polls, political caricatures and robo calls.  We have the power and while it is cliché, a comic book hallmark stated it best: “With great power comes great responsibility”.

Advertisements

October 30, 2012 - Posted by | Policy and Politics - Federal | , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. This is a topic that’s close to my heart… Thank you! Where are your contact details though?

    Comment by Shin Gaiter | October 31, 2012 | Reply


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s