October 29, 2008

Trent Lott speaks

By Laura Chan and Emi Eaton
Around DC

Trent Lott with AVMA ExternsToday, Laura and I had the opportunity to hear Trent Lott speak at the US Chamber of Commerce. As we all know, Trent Lott served as a Republican Senator and Senate Majority Leader. Regardless of your political persuasions, Trent Lott is a charismatic speaker who utilizes his southern charm and political prowess to persuade his audience of the Republican agenda.

Attending Trent Lott’s luncheon was an enjoyable experience. We shared lunch with representatives from the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), the American Financial Institute (AFI), Central Mechanical Construction (CMC), and the American Steel and Iron Institute (ASII), among others. As we all know, the veterinary profession is highly respected and conversation flowed easily from “I’d mortgage my house to pay for my dog’s medication” to “my twin nieces want to go to veterinary school” and ”I’ve heard that vet school is harder than medical school.” Everyone was so friendly and generous and welcoming. And, although Laura and I may have been the only Democrats at the table, we found common ground with our lunch mates, which included concerns about small business owners and our current economic crisis.

Trent Lott shared his thoughts about the upcoming presidential election. He was knowledgeable and articulate. And even though we do not agree with his social statements and many of his policy decisions, we learned a tremendous amount about the political process and the responsibility and challenges facing our leaders. As we listen and learn from our servant leaders, we have the ability to reflect critically on our successes and failures, and thereby better shape the future.

As externs, Laura and I have the unique opportunity to learn how we, too, can further contribute to the veterinary legislative and regulatory policies, thereby shaping and strengthening this wonderful profession. This is a tremendous experience.