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Dynamic Chiropractic – October 22, 2001, Vol. 19, Issue 22

The Politically Incorrect Chiropractor

By Allen Roth, DC
A Republican and a Democrat are walking down the street when they come upon a homeless man. The Republican gives the man his business card, tells him to report to his business for a job, and gives him $20.

A few minutes later, they come upon another homeless man. The Democrat asks the Republican for $50, hands the money over to the homeless man, and directs him to the welfare office.

Which rescuer was correct? If you believe that government holds the answer to chiropractic's problems, then the second rescuer had the best solution. But, if you believe that government is more often the problem than the solution, then the first rescuer had the better program. It all depends on your worldview. Battles within chiropractic and attacks against us are puzzling, until we understand the differences between the two views.

First, let us look at political worldviews, then apply them to chiropractic issues. The standard definitions of conservative and liberal do not fit the two major American political parties. Conservatives have had a hard time defining themselves because they are thought of as "tight" and mean-spirited, while liberals are thought of as generous, caring and giving. This seems like a logical conclusion from what we see, until we look at hidden political agendas.

Not all liberals have a liberal worldview. I classify them into three categories: victims, self-proclaimed champions of victims (CVs), and victimizers.

Victims comprise those who have been victimized, those who think of themselves as victims, and those who feel they do not have their share of power, prestige and wealth.

CVs feel they have the insight and power to help victims. Many political leaders; bureaucrats; trial lawyers; environmentalists; journalists; entertainers; educators; union leaders - even some chiropractors and chiropractic organizations - fit into this category. They think that others (victims) cannot take care of themselves and need their help, while victimizers need to be controlled or destroyed.

Self-proclaimed CVs derive their power from perceived victims. The liberal message to victims is: "Don't worry, we will take care of you." Of course, you have to be a victim and remain a victim to qualify for help. Without problems and without victims, liberals have no power; individuals do not have the freedom to decide whether they are victims or victimizers. This choice is determined by the CVs. They feel they are the only ones with enough insight and intelligence to determine where everyone else fits. In their minds, there are no other than these three categories.

Who are the victimizers? If you are not a victim, then you are automatically a victimizer, unless you are a CV.

We also see it in chiropractic. I have often wondered why the medical profession perceives chiropractors the way it does. If it were just a matter of economic competition, MDs would respect chiropractors as competitors, and the "final solution" to the "chiropractic problem" would be for the medical profession to "out-compete" chiropractors. But economics alone does not explain the disdain for us the medical profession often portrays. In fact, it has embraced other competing professionals like osteopaths and physical therapists, while at the same time trying to contain and destroy chiropractic.

The medical profession has attained almost "godlike" status from being considered CVs. At some time in our lives we all may be victims of some disease. At that time, we may feel the need for a "champion." We are fortunate that the medical profession has the wisdom and technology to intervene in health emergencies that can often save our lives.

The problem has been that when chiropractic was lacking scientific credibility, the medical profession thought of chiropractors as victimizers. Its members felt chiropractic provided no health care benefit, and that DCs were stealing money from their patients. In their minds it was justice for them to try to contain or destroy chiropractic.

I have often wondered why some chiropractors have such a distrust of other DCs. Why can't some see the rationale in "chiropractic" being the adjustment of the spine to correct subluxations, but the "practice of chiropractic" being able to include whatever the states allow? Why is it okay for many of them to secretly prescribe nutrition and use therapy, when they rail against anyone else doing this? The only way to explain this is that these chiropractors consider themselves CVs. To them, chiropractic is a victim of not only medicine, but also of all other DCs who do not put enough emphasis on the adjustment. They do not trust chiropractic in the hands of anyone except themselves. Therefore, they will only accept their definition of terms. It does not matter that the definitions are almost exactly the same. Other definitions have devious intent.

For some DCs, chiropractic is not a profession, it is a religion, and they seem intent on protecting their dogma with religious fervor. This group functions with the view of victims. It needs chiropractic as a victim to champion. If chiropractic were not a victim, they would have to invent or imagine a crisis so they could retain their position of power.

Because of them, chiropractic is a divided profession. Except for drugs and surgery, there is nothing wrong with diversity in practice; it gives patients choices. These chiropractors need to trust that the adjustment will survive and be the distinguishing treatment within chiropractic, because it works and because people will always have spines. It is unfortunate that some have to waste so much time on frivolity while they fight to protect chiropractic from real danger. If one group cannot come to the point where it can trust chiropractic in the hands of other DCs, we will end up in the hands of MDs and PTs.

In contrast to the various victim mindsets, conservatives (and most chiropractors) have a barometer of trustworthiness. Those we consider the most trustworthy may earn leadership positions; those not trustworthy may end up in jail or without a practice.

There are varying degrees of trustworthiness and categories. A person may be trustworthy as a parent, but untrustworthy in arriving on time. People establish trustworthiness by their actions and attitudes.

True CVs are willing to sacrifice and help victims become nonvictims. They encourage others to be successful in life and to think of themselves as trustworthy individuals. Even if a person has a disability or other challenges, it is still possible for them to live above a victim mentality.

George W. Bush stated during his campaign, "I trust people. I don't trust the government." I believe he meant that he trusts a system where people are judged and treated by how trustworthy they are, not for reasons of race, creed, preferences or profession. Nobody needs or gets special privileges; it does not matter who has the most power, prestige and wealth. Of paramount importance is how trustworthy you are. There are no second-class citizens or professions.

When Bush said, "I do not trust government," I believe he meant that he didn't trust a government run by self-proclaimed CVs; he didn't trust a government where the ruling elite (CVs) decide where or how one fits, or how one is treated.

A person can be a conservative on certain issues and still take a liberal worldview, and vice-versa. The terms Republican and Democrat have less to do with this decision than being liberal or conservative, because some Republicans are liberal and some Democrats are conservative.

Liberals are perceived as kind, caring, and good for chiropractic because they say they want to take care of you. They say they are concerned about chiropractic's every need, but only if chiropractic is a victim. Otherwise, chiropractic does not qualify for their help. With liberals, you get occasional handouts.

Chiropractic was included in Medicare during the 40 years that the liberals were in control of Congress. Becoming part of Medicare was no small feat; they were not considered humanitarians, but as victimizers who needed to be stopped.

Let us look at what chiropractic had to do to get into Medicare with the liberal Congress and federal bureaucracy. First, there had to be large political contributions so Congress would listen, then it had to be convinced that chiropractic was a victim of the medical establishment. When that was accomplished, Congress threw chiropractic a "bone" and put chiropractic in Medicare as a limited profession.

As I see it, "liberals" feel that anyone with wealth is evil, unless they are CVs who need wealth to be effective CVs. Because DCs appeared prosperous and wealthy, liberals set up rules to prevent people from coming to DCs. For instance, they required x-rays for Medicare patients, but would not reimburse for this service. They also made sure that DCs could not make too much money low reimbursement and high taxes.

They also set up "witchhunt" rules to make chiropractors feel like criminals when they did too well within the "system." Those who have been audited can attest that they felt like criminals when being reviewed, with the burden to prove themselves innocent to bureaucrats that are judge, jury, and prosecutor. Bureaucrats tend to consider themselves CVs, with the chiropractor and patient as victimizers of federal funds. Since it is okay to destroy victimizers, they have destroyed many chiropractors, while all other DCs live in fear of future destruction.

Now let's look at how the conservative Congress has treated DCs. Congress went against the AMA and the Department of Defense by mandating:

"The Secretary of Defense shall complete development of a plan to provide chiropractic health care services and benefits, as a permanent part of the Defense Health Program (including the TRICARE program), for all members of the uniformed services who are entitled to care under section1074(a) of title 10, United States Code."

The only danger is that bureaucrats will be involved in much of the rule making. Congress placed a chiropractor in its medical clinic and found this service so successful that it added another DC. It appears to be trusting chiropractors and tells them that they will continue to trust them as long as the chiropractors show themselves to be worthy of that trust. They do not consider chiropractors victimizers; they consider them members of a trustworthy profession.

Everyone has heard, "Give a man a fish and he eats for a day; teach him to fish and he eats for a lifetime." Liberals will never give chiropractors more than a part of the health care "fish"; that way, they stay in power. If you can convince the conservatives that you deserve to fish in the health care pond, they will allow you to be there as long as you show yourselves to be trustworthy fisherman.

The liberals put chiropractic in Medicare; it has created as many problems as it has solved. They said they were chiropractic's friends and they cared, but if they solved problems, then DCs would no longer be victims. If DCs were not victims, they would not need champions.

The health care system is broken to the point where it is almost irreparable. Innovative ideas like medical savings accounts can put chiropractic on an equal basis with MDs, and at the same time lower health care costs.

If all chiropractors will come together on the common ground of trustworthiness, perhaps many of the injustices which have been perpetrated on chiropractors and chiropractic patients can be corrected.

Allen Roth
Mount Pleasant, Iowa

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