Friday, April 12, 2024

Why I Don't Blog On How To Vote For T1D (part 1)

This whole blog posting is very US (and US politics) focused, but the issues are similar in other countries.  Also, this blog is trying to describe the existing situation, not argue that the current situation is good, bad, or should be changed.  It is just describing how things are.

When I first starting blogging, over 15 years ago, I thought it might be a useful idea to have a "Voter's Guide To T1D" style blog.  I would discuss who to vote for if all you cared about was T1D, why one candidate was the best for T1D research, how your vote would impact T1D research, and so on.  I never quite got around to it.  Since then, I've changed my opinion and decided that such a blog could never be written because T1D should not effect how people voted.

As people affected by T1D, we should want two things from our government, which means two things to consider when we vote.  One is the best possible care for T1D and the other is the best possible research into finding a cure for T1D.  Some people are more care focused, and others more cure focused, but those are the biggest T1D issues out there.

The democratic way to view this is to ask the question:  "if T1D is important to me, who should I vote for to improve these things."  The idea is that your vote should be directed by what you care about.  My insight is that is not true, because your vote is actually about how to solve problems, not what problems are important.

For example, consider research.  In the US, more liberal people think that research can be encouraged by funding research.  More conservative people, by lowering regulation of research. Neither of these groups are for or against research, they differ on how to encourage it.

Obviously, the perfect person to vote for is someone who cares about T1D and who has the same political leanings as you, and obviously the worse person to vote for is someone who doesn't care about T1D and has the opposite political leanings as you. 

However, in choosing between someone who has your political leanings, but does not care about T1D and someone who does not have your political leanings, but cares a lot about T1D, who should you vote for?  The answer is: you should choose the person with your politics.  (And this is true even if you are a single issue voter, and that issue is T1D.)

Why?  Because the person who does not share your politics will do things that they think will help T1D, but you will not agree with, even for T1D.  For example, if you are a liberal who cares about T1D, but vote for a conservative because they care a lot about T1D, they are going to lower government regulations on big businesses.  And you are going to think, it just encourages businesses to fleece me and not do any more research. 

Therefore, you should vote your own politics and not vote for who "cares" more about T1D, unless it is a primary and both politicians have your politics in general, and it is just a question of more or less T1D.  If you have that luxury, definitely vote more T1D!  However, that assumes the choice is between to people who otherwise share your views.

In the past, there might have been politicians who were generally liberal, but conservative on T1D research, or the other way around, so you might want to vote for them because they matched your T1D views, even if they did not match your more general views.  But I think those politicians are rare to nonexistent today.  Today, politicians are either liberal about nearly everything or conservative about nearly everything.

So therefore, blogging about a particular politicians positions on T1D is a waste of time.  The important thing is their general politics, and others can blog on that much better than I can.

Joshua Levy
publicjoshualevy at gmail dot com
All the views expressed here are those of Joshua Levy, and nothing here is official JDRF or JDCA news, views, policies or opinions. My kid has type-1 diabetes and participates in clinical trials, which might be discussed here. My blog contains a more complete non-conflict of interest statement. Thanks to everyone who helps with the blog.

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