If you haven’t noticed, we are once again in the “Silly Season”…when political foes put anything they can think of today…and things that don’t matter from yesterday… into print, TV, phone messages, tweets, commentaries, slogans and sound-bites that fill the mind-numbing void we call politics. And with today’s technologies…we all get bombarded with those cheap sales tactics in every conceivable fast and furious way! BUY NOW! TAXES! BUT WAIT-THERE’S MORE! 50% OFF! TAX CUTS! FLIP-FLOPPER! SOCIALIST!
The silly season seems to occur more frequently than before… like stores putting Christmas items out at Halloween. ( I remember when my Mom thought it was outrageous when the biggest department store in town put the Christmas
decorations up on the day after Thanksgiving!) The idea, of course, was to create the mood, make the season last longer and stimulate the seasonal sales. Hence, the “debates”!
Naturally, these sales tactics are not lost on politicians who treat every vote like a sale. Add to that, the advertising concept that says you must create your message as if you’re talking to a 6th grader… and voters are being treated
more like children than ever before. You know the idea … use simple words,
short phrases and big bright letters to get the child’s (voter’s) attention….and
then repeat it as fast and frequently as possible to get the desired result.
Of course, mere mortals who are NOT politicians or pundits can only take so much…and we simply stop listening. This frustrates and bewilders them…so they
have to spend MORE money to try harder to get our attention! And to get more
money…they have to get their “Message” out ….ad infinitum.
In healthcare, we are all assaulted by the same tactics. We find ourselves awash in simple words and bright colors that drug manufacturers, alarm companies,
reverse mortgages, diet companies, scooters and health supplies, manly men and
feminine women supplements shouting at us… reminding us that the “Silly Season” never really ends.
Health, like government, is a process not easily altered with the latest poll, discovery, or need. Like all processes, negative benefits occur when the process is ignored for too long. Positive benefits occur when the processes are reviewed and allow for change. Problems in a process can often be traced to neglect,
and decades of poor choices or habits. Then our task is to look at the big picture, try to make good choices for the long view…and be patiently persistent in our effort to make things better.