A Power Grab

I am a recovering politics addict. When election years roll around, I can’t help myself. Writing books takes over a life. I keep forgetting that. A person can sit at the computer, staring at that electronic screen for only so long. Past a point, any author will talk about diminishing returns. So when I hear the saturation point alarm, I give in and turn to my reliable drug dealers.

They are CNN and MSNBC. I am not man enough for Fox, but a guy can hope.  I covered politics for years. I never saw anything like this election cycle. I think it is too late to fix anything this time around. The barn doors are open, the horses gone. Frankly, I don’t like anybody. Bernie is OK, but if he really believes he can make wishes come true, I want some of what he is smoking.

What to do. Oy.

It probably is too late to get on the ballot for November, but I think we should found a new political party. The CCP. That would be the chronic condition Party. Consider our numbers. There are more than seven thousand chronic illnesses threatening our national health. These sicknesses affect about 117 million Americans. That is roughly half the population of the United States. But we are too damn fragmented to raise a political army.

We are separated by the names of our diseases. Every year, we go separately to Capitol Hill to lobby for ourselves. Congress does not want to give to one group because they will have to give to all. So they look at the disease neutral National Institutes of Health and give NIH practically nothing. Congress froze the NIH budget when we invaded Iraq in 2002. We have to save our nickels and dimes to bomb all the sand castles in the Middle East and accomplish nothing.

I am pretty sure we will not agree on everything, but if we blend our voices, a chorus of common sense might be heard. Pandering politicians might be forced to deal with us if they think their jobs depend on it. Let’s become a force to be reckoned with. Maybe we can get our national priorities straight. We just need a strong leader. I nominate Christopher. I want to keep my distance from the idea so I have deniability.

  1. I’ll go back to my book.



18 Responses to A Power Grab

  1. Jana March 19, 2016 at 6:10 pm #

    I second that nomination.

  2. Betty March 19, 2016 at 6:20 pm #

    All in favor?

  3. Pam I Am March 19, 2016 at 8:39 pm #

    My first thought was “cool, we can coin it the CCCP (Christopher’s Chronic Condition Party),” but then that reminded me of the old Soviet designation. Talk about a power grab. Oy!

    I’ll see my way out…

    • Richard M. Cohen March 19, 2016 at 8:46 pm #



  4. Amy Corcoran-Hunt March 20, 2016 at 9:34 am #


  5. Jan March 20, 2016 at 12:41 pm #

    Yes, so tired of it all and really like no one running, each for various reasons.

  6. grandma nancy March 20, 2016 at 4:21 pm #

    I’m in for Christopher. He sounds like a thoughtful and well spoken choice. Can that ever be in this crazy election schedule??

  7. Brian L. March 20, 2016 at 4:38 pm #

    A “chorus of common sense “? Puh-leeeease! I think it’s been proven that there is no place for common sense in politics.

    • r. cohen March 22, 2016 at 12:56 pm #

      Well, a guy can dream.


  8. Dale March 20, 2016 at 11:31 pm #

    Absolutely Christopher. A voice of reason among the chaos. A veritable encyclopedia of knowledge and common sense. Just can’t do much better than that.

  9. MSCro March 21, 2016 at 2:05 pm #

    Hello from Croatia, I’ve been an avid reader of the Journeyman, but never felt so compelled to leave a comment as I am now. Your last few posts have been amazing – witty, smart, just brilliant.

    I also give my voice for mr. Cristopher (figuratively speaking, of course, since I’m not an American citizen).

    Keep up the great work, mr. Cohen.

    • r. cohen March 22, 2016 at 12:57 pm #



  10. Sue in TX March 21, 2016 at 3:31 pm #

    Yes, Why not Christopher? The current political circus is because so many Americans feel disenfranchised. But Aren’t We the People with chronic illnesses also disenfranchised? Who represents our health interests in this election? What leader will improve my life and family’s life? Treatments for MS should not depend on whether its still under patent. Health Insurers should not be able to charge exorbitant copayment and coinsurance amounts to their own insured. A doctor’s best prescription/ treatment choice should not be denied by the patient’ insurer. This just scratches the surface. We could use Someone with first hand experience dealing with MS, the healthcare system, and insurers. So Christopher is in a better place to get America’s attention onto such issues. Dare I take it further, and say most of Richard’s followers would be better to lead this country and advocate for the chronically ill than a blowhard who believes there is a “disability racket” and needed the government to intervene to make his commercial properties ADA compliant.

  11. CW March 21, 2016 at 4:36 pm #

    Regarding Fox News, “The Simpsons” said it best: “Not racist, but #1 with racists”

  12. Yvonne March 22, 2016 at 9:39 am #

    Naw, they’re racist. But I love the Simpson quote 😉

  13. Yvonne March 22, 2016 at 9:57 am #

    I was driving around recently and saw a disabled homeless vet at the intersection asking for money. Very common here in Fl. Ironically there was a group of Trump supprters with their blue signs at the next light. I rolled down my window to give the man some money, which I normally do not do as I give to local organizations that help. I ask the man if he would be willing to do a little work for $5. He said yes. I then instructed him to wheel over to the group and ask them what Trump would do for the disabled and the vets. He smiled took the money and started towards the group. They were dressed in their Banana Republic capris and slacks and he was disheveled and basically toothless! I told him I’d comeback around but I didn’t. I would love to have recorded his encounter with the clueless group of folks. 🙂

    • Christopher March 23, 2016 at 4:08 pm #

      Good exploitation of cognitive dissonance.

  14. Christopher March 23, 2016 at 4:19 am #

    You all are really too kind to a fool like me.

    Most of my life I’ve been in the background, because I’m just an observer who pretty much stays to himself. It’s not that I’m fearful of attention, I’m just a pretty humble person. When I have posted replies to Richard’s posts, it was because I thought it was important to add what I know. But what I know really isn’t that important… you all are. A big chunk of my knowledge is autodidactic, which can a lot of times cause problems. Many of my ideas have been harshly criticized, and even ridiculed, in the past. So it’s really awesome (and a little nutty) that you all think I would make a good spokesperson for getting more resources dedicated to disease and disability issues. I really wish I could tell you that I could write an engaging essay, or speak eloquently enough, to get the attention of the people who influence the direction of the money. But it takes much more. And it also takes a certain level of influence that I definitely do not possess. Plus it’s very difficult to have a meaningful conversation with people whose default conversational status of end-to-end logical fallacies is de rigueur, and you are not.

    It’s a really cool idea though.

    That’s why I am going to try to put something together anyway, to try to get under the noses of the people who can change things. I have no clue what it will entail, and I have no idea what the hell I’m doing. But I’m going to try my best. I wasn’t sure I was going to post a reply here, because I wasn’t sure what to say. But after I read what Richard wrote above–like ten times–I thought this is a really good idea. It’s something that needs to be pursued. I am actually running on fumes right now, so it may take a little while. But when I have all my thoughts together I’ll post it all in one article or essay. Probably on my own blog so I don’t crash Richard’s site with an avalanche of words.

    And then you all please let me know if it’s good enough to run with, and I’ll make the journey up to Capitol Hill. Even though I’ve never even been there before. I want to do some good for you all, and many more suffering out in the world… If I can. And I mean it.