Today is Blog Action Day, when bloggers of every persuasion are tasked with writing about a common issue. This year’s issue is Poverty.
There were quite a lot of things I thought about writing about. I thought about my patients, who are mostly poor and uninsured and often don’t take their medications because feeding their children is a higher priority than buying their blood pressure pills. I thought about organizations such as The Hunger Project, which is dedicated to sustainable strategies towards ending the chronic hunger and poverty that affects over 800 million people worldwide. I could have written about climate change, which exerts its largest effect upon the world’s poor and is the theme of this year’s Word Food Day (which is tomorrow). Or how about about the shame I feel that in my own country, one of the world’s wealthiest, more than one in ten people lives with hunger and poverty?
I decided to write about none of that and all of that at once: I decided to use this post to urge you to vote, because our vote is one of the most powerful weapons we have in the fight against poverty.
I won’t tell you who you should vote for, but I’ll tell you who I voted for for President (I mailed in my ballot last night, and I feel damned good about it).
I voted for someone who has an anti-poverty agenda, someone who understands that when some of us are poor, we are all poorer. I voted for someone who believes it is fair that those of us who have more contribute more, so we will all become richer. I voted for someone who will work for a sensible health care policy so people won’t have to choose between food and medicine. I voted for someone who wants our country to be a partner and a leader, not a bully or a brat, in global cooperative efforts to address climate change.
If you disagree with my choice, OK. I still hope you’ll vote. If you want to make a difference in poverty, think about spending your precious and powerful vote on the leader you think offers the best hope of doing that.