Bill Frist: ONE Vote ’08 Can Make A Difference

I am pleased to invite former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist to write a guest post at Captain’s Quarters, as he kicks off the ONE Vote ’08 campaign to help save the poor in Africa. Senator Frist has dedicated himself to humanitarian projects after retiring from the Senate, and he will appear on CQ Radio later today to talk about the ONE Vote ’08 project and how he sees it as part of the solution to the complicated problems in Africa.
More than a decade ago I began traveling to Africa each year to complete medical mission trips in countries such as Sudan and Rwanda. I’ve witnessed the devastating effects of extreme poverty and disease, which is why today I helped kick off the ONE Vote ’08 campaign.
ONE Vote ‘08 is an unprecedented campaign to energize presidential candidates – and voters – concerning issues of extreme poverty and global health. We aim to raise awareness of these issues in the political arena to help deliver meaningful change.
Fighting poverty and improving global health is unquestionably in the strategic interest of our nation. A lack of economic opportunity and poor health conditions promote instability, which opens doors for those who seek to harm America. Helping reverse this course strengthens our image throughout the world and builds goodwill in those places where it’s desperately needed.
The ONE Vote ’08 platform has five central planks:
* provide universal access to primary education for 77 million out-of-school children;
* provide access to clean water to an additional 600 million people in need and basic sanitation to roughly 1.3 million additional people around the globe;
* prevent more than 6 million young children from dying unnecessarily each year from poverty-related illnesses and 400,000 mothers who die in pregnancy-related illnesses each year;
* reduce by half the number of people in the world who suffer from hunger by equipping them with technology and resources to feed their families; and
* save 16,000 lives a day by fighting HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
ONE Vote ’08 is focusing on the four early primary states – Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and South Carolina – where we’ll run aggressive operations to fully engage each candidate.
Working with more than 100 non-profit and charitable groups and millions of grassroots activists, we’re asking the candidates to support our platform throughout their campaigns. One-on-one briefings have already occurred with many candidates and staff members, and those conversations will remain ongoing.
Africa and other poor nations are an opportunity, not a burden. Simple solutions to these complex problems exist, and technology has made them even more affordable. If we work together to employ them, we can save millions of lives throughout the world.
To learn more about ONE Vote ’08 please click here.

26 thoughts on “Bill Frist: ONE Vote ’08 Can Make A Difference”

  1. I’m conflicted by this. My heart goes out to the people in many African countries whose infrastructure cannot support the number of people that live there. But help me understand this: If there are a hundred million Africans in abject poverty, and this is admittedly a SWAG, and resources are found to feed them, give them immunizations and medical help to treat and prevent AIDS, will those hundred million not become dependant on this support and have babies, creating an entirely new population that would be destitute or dilute the support that was being offered to the original hundred million until it became insufficient and a new equilibrium was established?
    It seems heartless to ask that question, I know, but charity that doesn’t overcome the reason for the problem and provide the people being helped with a way to sustain their own existance independantly is just putting off the problem, and eventually exascerbating it. What can we do to help these peoples become self-sufficient?
    I’m sure all of this has been tossed about and thunk to the nth degree by people far better educated and more intelligent than myself. I’d just like to understand how such basic considerations are being addressed.

  2. Well, from their website it looks like a feelgood campaign to top off the Swiss bank accounts of third-world rulers. Maybe they could use a little less ‘enthusiasm’ and a little more detail?

  3. Immolate:
    “people far better educated and more intelligent” – like whom, our President and the 40 thieves under? Yeap, like the bunch of PhDs that keep on maintaining inflation is under control while oil went from $15 to $65 in about 4 years. Sure, little omissions on the way aside, they must be right because they have the credentials.
    US and Europe need to outsource not only their industries, but also their baby production. Many of these Africans will be the next US immigrants that the Democrats hope to transform in voters. US current policy – export wealth and import votes.
    But the surprising fact is that the president will agree with this … for reasons unknown. That voice at night probably …

  4. Democracies have problems and find solutions. Africa has problems and creates crises. Africa needs democracy and not more crises.

  5. The African people need capitalism — not another “war on poverty”. But conservatives and Republicans abandoned the promotion of capitalism long ago — preferring instead to accept the liberal/leftist premise that handouts to the “needy” will eliminate poverty. And the fact that such programs never work troubles them not a wit.

  6. HA! This government spends 1.6 billion per day, the national debt stands just shy of 9 trillion, so giving shiploads of goodies to all the poor of the world looks like chump change – so that makes it OK?
    Sorry to see ‘conservatives’ so deluded.

  7. Africa is a tragedy that is only going to get worse. While there are a handful of direct aid programs that provide great benefits to the African People, far too much of the aid is diverted to line the pockets of the corrupt and powerful. Sending more financial aid, especially through governments and large NGOs, is not going to help, in spite of how heartbreaking the current situation is. The only large “aid” programs that have really done well in most of Africa seem to be those that provide the tools and training to kill one another.
    While it will likely never happen, it just might be that the best thing for Africa in the long term would be for the rest of the world’s governments to completely turn their back on the continent for a couple of generations. There are no easy answers to this tragedy in progress.
    Just my $.02
    DaveK

  8. Bono, Senator Frist and Senator Daschle have taken on a major project. To all the people who question this type of humanitarian effort, I simply say if not us, who? if not now, when? Are we willing to watch millions die that could otherwise be saved? I’m sure that all three of these men have really good ideas for a comprehensive program to enable people whose lives are saved lead productive lives. Instead of always being so negative, let’s just support the efforts of three good men, who are trying to make the world a better place.

  9. Mr. Frist, I sure hope you can do a better job for Africa than you did for your own Presidential prospects and the Republican party under your “leadership”.
    Remember the way you rammed through that Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act at Jon Kyl’s behest in such a sneaky and underhanded manner by attaching it to the ports security bill? You should be ashamed of yourself. Thanks for nothing.

  10. Put up the fence along the Mexican border here at home first, and then we’ll talk about the latest plan (after decades of pouring money into that sinkhole continent) to “save Africa”.

  11. “I’m sure that all three of these men have really good ideas for a comprehensive program to enable people whose lives are saved lead productive lives.” – GinnyD
    I’m just as sure that these people have no idea how to improve the lives of the African people. If they did, they would have used those ideas to improve the lives of Americans. Yet, they helped to contribute to the dire straights Americans find themselves in – out-of-control government, scarce jobs, high indebtedness and a bleak future.
    Shutdown the entire regulatory government, close Congress and send all Executive Department employees home for good, close the National Science Foundation, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of the Interior, all International Assistance Programs, Housing and Urban Development, Department of Education, NASA, Department of Energy, Department of Labor, Department of Transportation, Office of Personnel Management, Department of Agriculture, and the Internal Revenue Service, and not enough money would be saved to fund Health and Human Services for one year – not enough to fund the Social Security Administration for a year either – but, maybe enough to pay the interest on the debt, now standing at about 410 Billion per year.
    No matter how you cut it this nation’s citizens can ill afford to allow ‘business as usual’ to continue as-is in DC – or in any other country, for that matter – particularly those that would never will come to assist the citizens of this nation.

  12. Mr. Frist, this is nothing more than feel-good colonialism sans force-of-arms. One cannot make Africans do what they need to do FOR THEMSELVES. Haiti is Africa in miniature, and look at what our feel-good “investments” have accomplished there: ZIP, nada, nothing. Bill Gates is barking up the same tree, but at least he’s squandering his own money, not ours.
    I am more than a little puzzled by the Captain’s implicit endorsement of this vapidity.

  13. Without replacing the governments in Africa it is money better spent elsewhere. Such as to undermine and replace the government. Frist swings and misses again. What a pathetic group the GOP has for “leaders”.

  14. What is pathetic is that anyone would hang their opinion on such a dire subject on ideology. If we, as people, cannot do better then we need to cease our mouths and fingers on the keys. Yes, this is a continual problem in the world. I just thank someone’s god it doesn’t include China and Russia’s population. It does include a good segment of the Palestinian population. First, unless there is a severe change in the ideology and government of African and Middle East politicians, religious fanatics and ideologues, nothing, nothing will ever change!! As as been happening since recorded history 7,000++ years ago and probably longer, the havenots suffer, starve as do their children. The haves spend no time or money, or some time and someone’s else’s money so they can campaign for their causes and feel good. But, nothing, nothing gets done. We never had and probably will never have the necessary strength of character to put an end to this. We call ourselves “civilized” but are we really? Does education help? No. Does religion help? No. Does compassion help? No. So, we need to do something different, but will we? NO!

  15. Ron C, that’s what makes this such a great country. I am as entitled to my opinion as you are yours. I can’t help noticing that almost everyone posting here really typifies the problem with the world in general. There is a meanness of spirit and a nasty attitude that I have never seen during my lifetime. I would rather have people like Senators Daschle, Frist and Bono trying to make a difference than all the rest of you disrespecting them and their ideas, but not offering any of your own.

  16. I give a little over 1/2 my tithe to go to missions to provide food to the hungry, clean drinking water, medicines, shelters and orphanages.
    I don’t understand the concept of One Vote except to get the various candidates for president to endorse it and send more foreign aid to these countries, which is fine, as long as the money goes where it’s supposed to go and not into the pockets of the despots.

  17. Dr. Frist, you ought to know better than to come begging to the people you stiffarmed in 2005-2006. You know, the same people who worked their butts off and endured threats and violence to win the GOP majority in 2004. The same people you slammed the door on when you decided to abdicate your position to the minority.
    There is a proverb in the Bible that basically states that you have no business working outside your boundaries until you square away your own house.
    Thanks to your incompetence and lack of moral courage, our country is endangered from within. We have no borders. We have a Democrat majority. We have people who want to destroy the nation IN POWER largely because of YOUR abominable leadership.
    And now you come here begging our time, resources and VOTES to improve nations other than our own.
    You’re a scoundrel and a weasel for that.
    Hit the door-to-door circuit like all the others with a tin cup in your hand, you weak-spined loser.

  18. do you really want to help africa.
    shoot every one of the monsters that run what pretend to be governments in about 20 of the most corrupt governments in the world. when mugabe is executed, get back to me.
    after we do that i’ll listen to another of these BS bumper sticker campaigns, you know, the save darfur crap that these useless people organize so they can get a free t-shirt.
    frist was a pathetic senate leader. he should have stayed a doctor–where i heard he was very good.
    the web site they set up is perfect–its useless. more of the standard “i feel good about myself because i care”–right there with the “free tibet” sticker. i’m surprised they don’t have video clips of babies with flies on their face. you want to help africa–starting shooting the monsters and spraying ddt.
    don’t get me started!

  19. Unfortunately, the aid does go into the pockets of the despots and maintains the bloated bureauarcies that support them.
    Ive just returned from 3 weeks in South Africa, arguably the best governed African Nation. Unemployment is rampant as is violent crime with gangs of armed thugs roaming the countryside raiding farms etc..
    SA President Mebeke is a capitalist whose hands have been tied by a socialist assembly and bureaucracy. His opponet in the upcoming presidential election is a Zulu named Zuma who is an avowed communist and a great admirer of Zimbabwes Mugabe.
    Many whites with whom I talked are ready to leave SA if Zuma is elected.
    I like Frist but his program is naive and likely to do more harm than good.

  20. Senator Frist, read this first.
    Just say no to Africa. No money, no help, and no trade policies that punish Africans.
    Let them stand on their own and figure out their own way out of poverty.
    Stop the Aid. Now.

  21. Frist: “We aim to raise awareness of these issues in the political arena to help deliver meaningful change.”
    Um, yeah. We aren’t yet aware of the problems of poverty around the globe. Like we need yet another feel good crusade to dump more money at the problem without demanding behavioral change. It’s always carrot and no stick least “hegemony” be charged. Thanks but no thanks. I’ve heard this plea my entire life… it’s part and parcel of it and nothing new under the sun.
    Frist: “Fighting poverty and improving global health is unquestionably in the strategic interest of our nation. A lack of economic opportunity and poor health conditions promote instability, which opens doors for those who seek to harm America. Helping reverse this course strengthens our image throughout the world and builds goodwill in those places where it’s desperately needed.”
    So now our obligation somewhere embedded in the Constitution is divined by Frist to impose upon us an unending commitment to the entire planet? And he would have those running for office commit vast resources which they don’t have (and the government doesn’t have any assets, either) considering our own increasing debt? And we need to buy the goodwill of everyone all of the time lest they attack us? Sounds like he is projecting an aura of extortion upon the poor to exert upon us.
    With respect, Mr. Frist, you have done honorable work as a physician, but please step away from this grab at further fame before you and your peers step well beyond that which our government was designed. You may spend your entire fortune and all of your time for this questionably worthwhile endeavor. That’s your right. You may not spend mine or my family’s via imposed force through government taxing obligations, and certainly not without a fight.
    Such arrogant power grabs supersede even the premise that such an “investment” would be worthwhile or productive. Evidence to this point reveals that’s a false assumption.
    But even beyond that, as a biologist, you should know that population dynamics are real and that we have a limited Petri dish. Without addressing other mandates required to complement such a resource shift, we need to know how the population will respond and how that response would tax the globe. What do your environmentalist friends say about that? Or any associated morality subsequent to social and behavioral change?
    Sorry, Mr. Frist. I’m not sold and neither am I buying.

  22. I place controlling our borders and the war on terrorism a lot higher than this misguided effort to allow third-world oligarchs to feed at our table. They waste most of what they get now, so why give them any more than we have to?

  23. Old_dawg, the problem is that extreme poverty in the developing world is directly related to the war on terror. The kind of poverty we’re talking about, which starves children and forces families to watch their loved ones die horrible deaths from preventable diseases, incites anger and hatred – hatred that al-Qaeda would like to see directed toward us. That’s why al-Qaeda is engaged in recruitment efforts in Africa; it’s ripe for the picking.
    With that said, former Sen. Frist’s endorsement of the ONE Campaign isn’t going to help anything. If we really want to alleviate poverty in the developing world instead of simply throwing more taxpayer money at the problem, then we need to get tough with corrupt developing world governments, we need to stop propping them up with our aid, and – most importantly – we need to promote a free market global economy. It would be nice to see the former Senate Majority Leader devoting his time and energy to these goals instead of to the ONE Campaign’s socialism through the back door.

  24. uhh yea Frist, I was going to donate to your sctick, but I need the money to pay for the 30% higher gas, the 20% higher food, the 50% higher electricty, the 10% higher property taxes.
    Oh yea, I forgot to mention that my wages are 20% lower than they were 5 years ago due to my humanitarian duty to allow my fellow man from the south the opportunity to share the wealth with no regard to borders, or federal employment laws or tax laws.
    Of course, i am just being selfish, as my standard of living is so much higher…except that I have conciously delayed marriage and child rearing, while the beggars have a multitude of children which they want me to pay to raise.
    No thank you.

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