7 Political Labels Which Don’t Mean What They Used To

Several recent polls indicate that the level of uneasiness in both the United States, as well as the rest of the world, is at its highest, in recent times! We have witnessed such an incredibly high level of polarization, rather than cooperation, and certain political leaders, such as President Donald J. Trump, have seemingly exploited this, with excessive rhetoric, vitriol, misstatements, etc, often taking every opportunity to attack those who disagree with him, by labelling them, in some negative, adversarial way. Besides the ethical and other negative aspects of this behavior. the exercise often becomes even more challenging, become today’s labels, often have significantly different meanings, than they once did. This article will briefly examine and discuss, 7 political labels, that fall into that category.

1. Liberal: Once a term, which meant someone believed in more government involvement, in order to address the needs, of the under, and less than privileged, this brought on legislation, often referred to, as entitlements, such as Medicaid, Welfare, etc. Certain politicians today, have distorted the original intent and meaning, from striving to help and make a positive differ in the lives of those who need it, to a negative connotation, which seems aimed at stirring up resentments, etc, for political gain!

2. Progressive: This is a somewhat, more recent term, which originally meant forward – thinking, such as environmental/ climate/ ecology concerns, and making education and health care, more affordable and accessible, to a situation, now, where some so – called progressives, often seem to have never seen a government hand – out they could resist, whether it is well – conceived and planned, or not. Obviously, those trying to stir up negative emotions, exploit this term, in a way, which creates resentment, etc. The health – care insurance argument, which pits those who support some variety of the Affordable Care Act, even if it means tweaking, to those who want a Medicare – for – All, system, to those, who simply state they seek a free market approach, without government involvement. Obviously, the latter approach, would bring us back, to pre – 2010 times, where many, could not even get, or qualify, or afford medical insurance.

3. Moderate: Prior to 1980, for most of the previous Presidential elections, everyone elected, held a philosophy, within about 5% of the center, politically. This permit across – the – aisle, discussion, and a willingness to compromise, for the common good. Today, we are witnessing much less centric politics, with those on the political left, and right, rarely coming to a common agreement! While we used to witness many Republican Moderates, there are far fewer elected today. What exactly is a political moderate, today?

4. Conservative: Originally, this meant, someone who focused and/ or emphasized, a conservative approach, especially to economics. They sought economic and budgetary prudence, and carefully reviewing and considering expenditures. Today, the term often refers to individuals, with a right – of – center approach and perspective/ philosophy, but the economic/ fiscal discipline often seems to vary, on a case – by – case basis. What ever happened to reducing deficits and seeking a balanced budget?

5. Republican: The political party of Lincoln, Rockefeller, Eisenhower, Javits, etc, is far different from the Republican Party, of today! There are few moderates, who are members of the G.O.P., today! Many of those mentioned above, would either be unwelcome, or would feel that way, today!

6. Common sense: Most would agree, the best approach, would be more use of common sense, in making decisions, etc, but, unfortunately, it is rather uncommon (indeed, rare!)!

7. Service: The elected officials of the past, despite their flaws, and personal agenda, ego, etc, in the end result, seemed to believe, they were elected to represent their constituents, and provide true service! Few would say, that’s the case, today!

Beware of political labels, because there’s often a significant difference between how we label, and reality/ necessity/ need, etc! Let’s all say, together, what the famous words, in the movie, Network, stated, I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!

Health Literacy Is for the Healthy

“Health Literacy” is the ability to read, understand and act upon health information. And, more than half of the American population is not proficient on this topic. Unfortunately, the above definition is the point after which most head into the wrong direction. Unless a significant misnomer, by definition, the focus of health literacy should be two-fold, enhancement of functional literacy (period) and increased attention to the issues of health.

The general public reads very little non-commercial, health-related materials, the content being very challenging. Additionally, people consume too much sugar, consume alcohol and excesses of red meats, processed grains, artificial chemical additives, too few and unvaried fruits and vegetables, and eat too much. Many also smoke, use recreational drugs, misuse prescription drugs, exercise too little and engage in other social and recreational activities that are harmful to them physically and psychologically. Much of that which I just described and many more contributors to poor personal and public health are legally accessible and even marketed to you. The question is, who is responsible for your health knowledge and healthy behaviors (health care) versus your medical status (medical care)?

Your mechanic recommends selecting quality fuels, lubricants, and other fluids, and changing them regularly. You should manage your tires’ pressure and watch tread wear. You check your brakes’ function and monitor all for all other signs of possible malfunction. And, although there are plenty of after-market and alternative products and services by which to care for your vehicles, no clear-thinking person deviates demonstrably from use/maintenance recommendations if expecting vehicles to perform well and last. Such is because motor vehicles are sold with maintenance recommendations and schedules that you read, developing your “automotive care literacy”.

The western medical professional community markedly fails to train its cadre well in subjects of prevention, health maintenance, and safe. high performance, physical fitness for the masses. This also includes failure to train them to care substantially about the health literacy of their clientele. Nationally, we spend a lot of money on a Center for Disease Control, Planned Parenthood [primarily STD/STI and services for sex-related diseases], and local public health agencies (focus upon epidemiology, primary medical care, local epidemics management). And, we wrangle politically over the role of government versus the private sector for the provision of all services, particularly those that are values-based. However, public health literacy (education) is a non-revenue generating activity and receives minimal attention.

While in the public many clamor for inalienable rights to comprehensive medical care, the general public doesn’t march for the rights to universal health literacy. Nor does it ask the government to require the market to be more responsible for promoting products, services and social behaviors consistent with universal health. Yet, we must not allow the government, nor the socially and financially empowered to suggest that speaking against “unhealthy” environments, foods, untoward products and behaviors (and effects of) is inappropriate, and thereby “politically incorrect” behavior, unless you want current vocal ideologies to drive health care and not literacy.