Thursday, November 1, 2018

Wrong for the Job

I thought long and hard about whether or not to write this post. I've been hesitant to do so, because, like most of us, I'm sick of the political garbage. However, as an advocate for organ and tissue donation, my great state is in danger of electing a U.S. Senator who is totally the wrong person for the job, particularly for Tennesseans who are transplant recipients or donor family members.

Courtesy : Wikipedia
The mere thought of Phil Bredesen as U.S Senator from Tennessee makes me ill. I don't care for him at all. I endured 8 years of him as Nashville, TN mayor plus 8 years of him as Tennessee Governor. In fact, his time as mayor is one of the reasons we moved out of Davidson County in 2005, because I got tired of my property taxes going up. I could list many more reasons as to why I don't like Bredesen, but there is one that trumps them all, and it has nothing to do with politics.

While he was governor, the Tennessee Governor's Highway Safety Office (GHSO), ran a series of anti-drunk driving PSAs. Sounds great, right? No one wants intoxicated drivers on the roads. Honestly, the PSAs were good, until one titled "Harvest" aired.

It starts off talking about an emergency surgery. Then, Bredesen points to an open operating room and explains that a "harvest" (organs being recovered for transplant) is taking place in there due to a young girl being killed by a drunk driver. First of all, he should have used the proper terminology. We use the term "recovery" now. However, that mistake was the least of the problems with the PSA.

When I saw the PSA for the first time, I was initially in shock that a governor would be so insensitive. Next, I got angry. Why? Because to me the underlying theme of the ad is not that drunk driving is bad and people shouldn't do it - it's that drunk driving causes people to become organ donors and that organ donation is the penalty for drunk driving. He connected a life-saving positive with a senseless, tragic, no-regard-for-human life negative. Organ donation and drunk driving should NEVER be connected to each other in such a way and doing so was cold and heartless.