Exploring Human Potential

How Trump May Help Us Liberalize American Health.

Posted on | March 17, 2018 | Comments Off on How Trump May Help Us Liberalize American Health.

Mike Magee

In this week’s The New Yorker, David Remnick reflects on “Trump’s illiberalism” and its’ test of the resilience of  “sturdy-seeming American values” and the endurance of  “institutions that the President has scorned and threatened.”

He sees active turnout in the 2018 midterm elections as part of the test, but also suggests that any victory here will require more to follow, namely “an honest, complex, open-minded debate on immigration, income disparity, distrust of government, guns, race, gender, speech, social media, and the environment.”

And what of health? That was my first reaction to his list, followed instanteously by my mind’s response, “Well, health underpins them all, doesn’t it?” And of course, the answer is yes. A decade ago, I laid out seven principles that attempted to respond to the question, “How do we make America healthy again?”

The seven visions were:

1. Health is political.

2. Reconnecting the family.

3. Lifespan Planning.

4. Home-centered health care.

5. Integrating health databases.

6. Techmanity: Humanizing technology.

7. Caring for the “planetary patient.”

Since then, Health Commentary has touched on these “liberal arts” themes again and again, reinforcing principles and tracking our evolution, often proceeding at a slower pace than I had predicted. Hcom has highlighted the economic perspective as well, which only adds to the sense of national urgency.

Remnick’s point is that the Trumpian crisis has liberal benefits – to test, to challenge, to motivate, to activate, and to accelerate. A healthy America welcomes new entrants, embraces diversity, leads in the public sphere, exposes and addresses prejudice wherever and whenever it occurs, limits guns and violence, encourages respectful communications, and rises to the environmental challenge.

A healthy America requires healthy Americans. We need to get on with it. Enough time has passed for us to rise to the challenge. #2018 Election.


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