Monday, September 3, 2012

Pat Caddell Highlights the Alzheimer's Imperative

Writing for, Pat Caddell analyzes the Tampa GOP convention and spots an opportunity for the Republican ticket, especially Paul Ryan, on Alzheimer's: 

Yet at the same time, a fuller awareness of the human experience could also inform policy, as well as the prose that spells it out. In his speech, Ryan spoke of a Congress in which the experts “take out the heavy books and the wall charts about Medicare.” And yet, Ryan continued, when he thinks of Medicare, “My thoughts go back to a house on Garfield Street in Janesville. My wonderful grandma, Janet, had Alzheimer’s and she moved in with mom and me. Though she felt lost at times, we did all the little things that made her feel loved.” It was a bittersweet snapshot of the same eldercare challenges experienced by millions of families across America. And since the rap on Ryan is that he is one of those who sees policy through numbers and charts, it was a helpful filling out of his own portrait.  

Still, Ryan could have helped himself even more if he had gone further, describing how a Romney-Ryan administration might take bold action to actually combat Alzheimer’s, as opposed to simply finance its dreary ravages in a new way.  This distinction is more than a debate over policy; it speaks to winning vision. A victorious presidential campaign must provide a genuine  vision for the future--using its imagination. The issue of Alzheimer’s is an issue of imagination, just as the space race in the 60s was an issue of imagination.  In our time, America is waiting for an effective plan for dealing with the fear that haunts every family in the country--the fear of a costly and painful decline stretched over decades.That is why Alzheimer’s is a winning issue, because it hits Americans where they live.  


  1. It would be wonderful if Romney & Ryan made two challenges. Besides Energy Independence for North America in 10 years, finding a cure for AD too.

  2. This was a great read! I have told a lot of people about the importance of alzheimer’s home care , I feel like the word definitely needs to spread so people truly understand. Thank you for sharing this with us James!