The donkeys and elephants made some noise recently with the quadrennial love fests they call the Republican and Democratic National Conventions. Both parties spent tens of millions of dollars getting their messages out to you, the voter. Should you pay attention to any of it? And does it have anything to do with your health?

Health care is still being bandied about by both Republican challenger Mitt Romney and President Obama. It’s a tricky topic. Nobody wants to upset the big insurance companies that have their Benjamins in so many politicians’ pockets. The right and humane thing, though, is health care for everyone and that would include preventive care. That would mean less money from taxpayers in the long run to pay for those who can’t afford proactive care. Check yes at the ballot box for this!

Schools are something to consider in every election. It’s probably not a great idea to cut funding for education. Usually one of the first programs to go is physical education, and this comes at a time when about one-third of our school-age kids are overweight or obese. Get rid of the Doritos and Cheetos in the school vending machines. Then get rid of the politicians slashing education budgets. Vote yes on teaching and encouraging healthier lifestyles for our kids.

It’s hard to be healthy when you’re dead. Gun violence killed about 9,200 people in 2009 in our country. The Colorado theater shooting in July killed 12 people and injured 58, reigniting the gun-control debate. You are armed and dangerous when you don’t vote to change this mayhem.

The economy is still sputtering along at the speed of Kirk Douglas on Valium. That means less money to spend on nonessentials. For many poor decision-makers, that would unfortunately include the health-club membership. Give up the Applebee’s happy hours or the Starbuck’s jolt before throwing in the white towel on your health. Vote for the presidential candidate who has a viable economic plan that will let you keep your fitness club membership … and even your Applebee’s and Starbuck’s.

Renewable energy and your health are another issue that should grab your attention. Here’s how I see the road ahead: heavy oil dependency … more pollution … economy begins to grow … more oil dependency … more pollution … economy grows even more … more oil dependency, and you get the point. Many of those with asthma and chronic breathing problems would say that more oil dependence and pollution are just what they don’t need. Vote yes on the greener candidate who will let you breathe more easily.

Get excited and get involved now that the political pep rallies have played out in Tampa Bay and Charlotte. The campaigns are heating up, and there is no excuse to play an ignorant role on these pressing matters. Your well-being is at stake. Grab a healthy cause and ride it safely to shore!

This health and wellness article is brought to you by that guy with a Democratic heart and a Republican brain. That guy with the Independent mouth is Ron Blake and he can be found at

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