photo credit: Greenville, SC Republican debate at the Peace Center for the performing arts via photopin (license)

By Alec Stone, MA, MPA, ONS Director of Health Policy

March always brings a certain madness. People are wearing t-shirts, putting together office pools, and talking about their favorite team. That’s right, it’s the Presidential election season.

We begin the month with Super Tuesday, a single day of mass voting across multiple states. In past election cycles, this day has narrowed the field, shaken out weaker candidates, and spit out fewer names as possible frontrunners for each party’s nomination.

That did not happen this year. While Republican Donald Trump kids inflatable water park and Democrat Hillary Clinton did break out a bit from their respective rivals, no one (at the writing of this) has solidified a strong enough lead to be safely on the way to a victory before the conventions this summer.

Is that good? Bad? Ugly? Well, it certainly is interesting. The economy, immigration, and foreign affairs top the list of presidential issues, healthcare still dominates the domestic agenda. The United States Congress is dealing with a host of funding issues that impact nurses—HRSA Title VIII, NCI and NINR, and FDA—overall concern about what the next president might do with the Affordable Care Act is still high. There is some “healthcare fatigue” on Capitol Hill, but public opinion surveys indicate that more Americans want to see a safety net for access to quality healthcare for all.

Join us at ONS Congress at “Election 2016: Donkey or Elephant, Educate the Candidates on Oncology Nursing Issues” to learn where the candidates—those that will still be left running in May—stand on the issues important to oncology nurses.

Candidates are saying the darnedest things. Political pundits are pulling their hair out in disbelief. But one thing can be said, the American voters’ anger is palpable. That is driving more people to the polls, and participatory democracy is a good thing. Let the people select their leaders.