Politics and Medicine: What They Have in Common

Sep 17th, 2008 | By | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Fortunately, I haven’t had to choose a brain surgeon yet. But, if I did I would have a careful list of criteria that would need to be met. That list would take several things into account.

>What training, where and by whom has the individual had?

>How long has he/she been at it?

>What is his/her reputation among peers?

>What is his/her bedside manner?

>How does he/she deal with my questions and concerns?

Finally, what about EXPERIENCE ?

David Brooks, a columnist with the New York Times, pointed out in his editorial yesterday that
“…the founders used the word “experience” 91 times in the Federalist papers.” He pointed out that “democracy is not average people selecting average leaders. It is average people with the wisdom to select the best prepared.” Sound counsel!

So when selecting a brain surgeon or a mechanic to rebuild your car’s engine or a wise leader to run the country, don’t you think experience counts? Experentia docet (experience teaches) is the Latin phrase I still remember from High School, back when we still had the opportunity to learn the dead language.

Of course, experience alone is not the only criteria. As I have pointed out above, a brain surgeon needs to bring skill, but also patience, and kindness, and preparation and insight and knowledge and wisdom and forthrightness and sensitivity and hope. It seems these are qualities useful in a politician as well.

Probably one of the most important characteristics is to be able to be honest and straight forward, to tell the truth to me, when I need to hear it. While I may not like the message, I would surely appreciate and respect having someone tell me what I need to know. I am perfectly capable acting on that information.

Please Mr. McCain, Ms Palin, Mr. Obama and Mr. Biden tell us the truth and we will be able to handle it.

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