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#ChronicPolitics

The Chronic Political Party’s Vision Statement -  A place where any chronic patient can come together to tell their individual story in the hopes of changing public policy for the betterment of all chronic patients. Once established, electing chronic patients, instead of chronic politicians, will become the ultimate goal. 

 

Ideology of The Chronic Political Party - Our first mantra will be that change is not scary, it is what is needed in order to cure the ills of our individual diseases and society. In our party, change will be celebrated for its successes and failures, especially its honest failures. We won’t always have the right answers but we will always have the right work ethic which means we will never stop learning from our successes and celebrating our failures for their discovery possibilities. 

 

In order to bust any and all silos, our second mantra will be that we will use the empathetic Design Methodology of “How might WE…?” for the basis of all policy discussions, beliefs, and political positions. People with arthritis will be encouraged to work with people with narcolepsy who will be encouraged to work with people with diabetes for example. New ideas and policies will be the foundation of raising the quality of life of all our members, not whether or not each patient group stays within their own silo. There will be a particular emphasis put on bringing those with rare conditions like cystic fibrosis into our party to work with those with more common diseases like arthritis or cancer. Everyone included will no longer be celebrated as a ground breaking idea because it will become so common of a methodology that it will be natural starting point for everything we do.

 

Caregivers, they will become our secret weapon. The most powerful ideology on the planet is love and there is no one stronger in love than our caregivers. We will use their love to bring down the establishment and their knowledge base as an enticement to join our political party. Most importantly, we will use their passion as fuel for new discoveries.

 

Our final mantra, all ideas and solutions will be come from an idea and place of being human centered. We will not be the party that comes to the table purely with idealogical solutions, if we do not have a human centered idea or solution we will proudly and loudly say “I don’t know yet, who would like to join use in searching for an answer”. Absolutism, will be saved for our love of skiing, reading, and each other. We will take pride in the fact that entities like Fox News and the Rush Limbaugh’s of the world will never join our cause because they are unwilling to put human centered love over profits and ratings. 

 

View of Government - This is a tough question that will be subject to constant revision and ideation. That said, our solid belief will be that government is an institution created by humans for humans that can be a useful and powerful tool for all of us. Let’s face it, not everyone can pull themselves up by their own bootstraps. As we, as chronic patients know, asking for help from those that want to help can be a powerful and loving experience. All of our quality of life’s have been raised at one time or another by asking for help. So we are going to take this knowledge and belief to government. 

 

View of Healthcare - Outside of national and local security, healthcare will be the next example of why we need government and believe it is a powerful tool for all patients. Unlike market forces, government is the only mechanism available today that can enforce the idea of everyone included. We, as chronic patients, want everyone included that might be able to raise our quality of life. As party members, we don’t care if our quality of life is raised by a fellow patient, caregiver, outsider, healthy person, or government employee, we are just happy and grateful that our smile is larger today than yesterday because of said persons discovery. 

 

As a political party, we need to elevate the national discussion of healthcare in order to discuss and answer “how we might turn healthcare into a human right, not a checkbook right?” The idea of paternalistic medicine is pretty much on its last leg and will be completely gone by the next generation of doctor’s graduate from medical school. That means it is also time to reexamine the underlying foundation of our healthcare system. Can it continue to function in a market economy or should we be the first nation ever to make healthcare a human center right? The time is now for these discussions and we will not back away from such a sensitive and complex issue. 

 

View of Education - As we know, it is incredibly difficult to learn while in pain and/or feeling horrible. A healthy society is a educated society. It is in that spirit that we will also ask “how might we turn education into a human centered right?” How might we create schools in the poorest regions of our country that are just as good, equipped, and possess the exact same quality of teachers as those from the riches zip codes in our country. 

 

In addition to establishing better schools, we will also ask questions like “how might we get more chronic patients into medical school education?” How might we introduce design thinking methodology into elementary schools? How might we improve communication techniques of everyone considering the ever changing dynamic of technology today? By no means are we saying the current education system is broke or that our teachers are bad, just the opposite. We are looking to break the parts of the education system that are working in order to see what kind of ideation we can create. Education is a dynamic human right, we need to be just as dynamic in our approach towards our education system. 

 

Dues for our Party - This is probably the toughest of all questions to answer. For the moment, those of us that can still work full-time, come from money, or still have some money from when they worked will need to contribute as much as we can. As we all know, politics is not cheap, neither are campaigns. Due to the extreme stress and physical demands of a political campaign, it is more than likely going to take several years to find a chronic patient willing to run in a local election. This campaign will require all of us in order to win.

 

Now, the quicker we can jump into any local or national debate the more exposure we can get which will led to more patients and caregivers joining our case which means access to more resources. So for those of us on the “ground floor” of this new party, please consider a donation now so we can get exposure now. 

 

Final Thought - Right now this is just meant as an academic exercise. Creating a new political party, especially one based on the ideals and ideation of chronic patients and their caregivers is a Mt. Everest of a task. That said, I think it is one worth having because who knows, maybe, just maybe, we can inspire one or two fellow patients to run or local office. I do have advance education in creating a campaign plan which is a start. All we would need is one other patient or caregiver who is a fundraising expert and we have a campaign team. The best part is thanks to our expertise in social media already we don’t have to live in the same zip code in order to pull this off, all we have to be willing to do is work our chronic asses off for the greater good and hope!

Alan Brewington