Even in EMS, All Politics is Local

Posted by on Oct 4, 2012 in Articles & Columns

The political season is and has been in full swing. We have debates and commercials and yard signs, all telling us that that our side is the best and the other side is horrible; we love you, they hate you; we want to help you, they want to hurt you.

The rhetoric and hyperbole become so frustrating that it seems easier to just tune it out and forego the whole thing. “Besides,” you think to yourself, “my vote doesn’t really matter anyway.” Nothing could be farther from the truth.

November 6, 2012 may be the single most significant Election Day in recent history; there is more at stake than ever before. This is not the usual vote “for” or “against”.

The presidential election will lead America down only one of two very different paths. Regardless of what you believe or who you believe in, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have virtually opposite views of how to elevate the country out of its present economic quagmire – the one in which you are likely stuck.

However, there is much, much more.

The electorate in almost every state in the union has other very important choices to make; ballot measures that will raise taxes, lower taxes, improve living conditions, destroy living conditions, help education, or hurt education, and so on. State and federal representatives, city council members, school board members…it may even be time to re-elect the dog catcher where you live.

The Radio & TV commercials alone are enough to drive a sane person to sniff glue.

Nevertheless, now more than ever before, you must do your part in the very activity for which so many have fought and died – you must vote.

But it’s not enough to simply go and vote. It’s not enough to simply cast a vote for the (D) or the (R) because that’s how your parents did it or that’s how you have always done it. Likewise, it is ludicrous to vote “yes” or “no” on any issue because the Union or anyone else does or doesn’t endorse it. Voting by party or endorsement alone is a fool’s errand.

The only logical, ethical, or moral ground upon which to cast any vote is knowledge; examining, researching, and forming your own opinion about a candidate or an issue is the only meaningful way to contribute to this essential process.

To make it personal, ask yourself some simple questions:

What direct or indirect effect will the winners of the various contests, including ballot initiatives and the presidency have on you personally?

Based on the outcome, what will happen to the price of the fuel that goes into your EMS unit? And how will that change affect the security of your job?

What will happen to the budget dollars that keep your agency funded? And how will that affect the security of your job?

What will happen to the cost of healthcare and how will that affect your call volume or reimbursement?

What will happen to your retirement account?

How will the outcome affect whether your children can go to college?

How will it affect whether they will be able to find work after college?

What about raises?

Layoffs?

New equipment?

How will the election affect or effect your ability to promote or lateral?

These are the things you need to know; these are the things that should shape your vote; these are the things that matter. Forget the debate zingers and forget the proposition ads, they are ALL LIES!

Honor those who have died for your freedom by casting an informed ballot. Change the world by understanding it just a little bit better. Serve your patients by contributing to the solution you think is best based on what you know, not on what you have been told.

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