Progress Post-Election: Child’s Play

Posted on | November 7, 2012 | No Comments

Mike Magee

With the election behind us, the question is, “What happens now?”  The consensus on “Morning Joe” this morning (from both sides of the aisle) was that there was an opportunity now to compromise and collaborate to address the deficit as well as giant issues like Medicare, our infrastructure and climate policy.

But how do our legislators “get to yes”?

One expert says (and I para-phrase): “When an individual falls in love with the word “no,” it can feel like you’ve run straight into a brick wall. Here are some tips … on how to get past “No!” and on to whatever it is you need him to do.”

1. Offer limited choices.

2. Respond with humor.

3. Use reverse psychology.

4. Get the other guy’s full attention.

5. Take turns.

6. Walk away.

7. Choose your battles.

8. Take advantage of “Me do it!”

9. Help the other side learn through teaching.

10. Try alternate phrasing.

Now, the fact that this great list comes from a wise group of parents of toddlers shouldn’t dissuade our congressional leaders from giving it a try. After all, the tantrums we’ve witnessed over the past four years are not that far afield from early childhood behavior.

So let’s start anew, building on our current strengths. The reality is, inspite of ourselves we’re making progress. Few believe the status-quo remains an acceptable short term option. The election allowed a comprehensive debate on shared sacrifice and shared reward, economic recovery and debt management.  The outcome last evening was clear and decisive. Make-believe is in fact giving way to reality.

For example, Mayor Bloomberg’s endorsement post-Sandy of President Obama was based on a belief that the President was best equipped to address needed changes in climate policy. And Governor Christie’s partnership with the President around disaster relief for New Jersey was a perfect illustration of how we expect our leaders to perform collaboratively when confronting difficult challenges.

Our Healthy Person Project has now surveyed thousand of physicians, nurses, graduate students and college students.  To the question “I believe strict enforcement of environmental standards for clean air and water, and management of global warming, are essential to assure optimal health of all Americans.”, 93% agree or strongly agree.

As for Obamacare, let’s get on with it. 99% of Healthy Person Project students agree that “Health care is a human right and should be universally available to all Americans.” Health delivery is both a social and economic imperative. Obamacare may not be perfect, but it’s a start.

Parents of youngsters learn early that it’s about baby steps, persistence, consistency, commitment, cooperation, and a belief that all the hard work and shared sacrifice will pay off. Our national and state leaders need to mirror them. Past is past. Time is wasting. Let’s get on with it and lead America forward together.

For Health Commentary, I’m Mike Magee

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