I always enjoy attending speaking engagements when notable authors, historians, and luminaries hit the trail and plug their wares. Not so much because they are plugging their wares of course, but the spontaneous banter and repartee that results from live interactions. Engaging in debate–sometimes, and the in the flesh hither and thither is refreshing and allows curious minds (and fans) to enter in a mode of conversation they normally would not experience. It is nice to see our countries best thinkers in this kind of forum.
Unfortunately, that is not usually the case for showcased speakers at national meeting plenary sessions. Words such as oversold, overhyped, and yes, boring often come to mind.
If you are attending this year’s SHM Annual Meeting however, throw away the rulebook (HINT: If you read the entry title, you can put the pieces together and guess this year’s presenter).
Mind you, I am writing this not just to promote our session, which I will simultaneously do—guilty as charged, thank you very much, but alert you to the prominence and esteem Norm Ornstein—our featured speaker, holds in political science circles.
Full disclosure, I am a huge fan, and have been since first reading The Broken Branch. However, if you are a news or political junkie, you can’t swing a dead cat without a hitting a national newspaper or trade, radio broadcast, or television news program without an Ornstein quote, particularly as it relates to Congress. And seeing as Congress is working so well these days, he is quite busy.
If Congress and government don’t excite you, fear not. The reason why Norm is so engaging is his “insider’s” take on our elected leaders and the humor, passion, and encyclopedic knowledge he brings to bear. He is just plain interesting to listen to, and you cannot help but enjoy his talks.
Why is this vital to SHM you ask? Well, with health care being a fifth of the nation’s economy and of such national import, solution insights into why or why not the ACA, SGR, or med mal will proceed should be of consequence. Your understanding of the process that advances these issues, potential advocacy that might spring forth, and visions into how the politics and policy encircle them may engage you.
Do trust, you will learn a few things from his session. What our pols think and do is unlike what you hear on the daily news shows. That may seem like an eye-opener, but that is the truth, and just grasping that may make you a more informed citizen.
I look forward to seeing you in San Diego. Whether conservative or liberal, you will take something meaningful away this year. Wisdom is a powerful tool.