The Game Is Rigged

By

Leonard Zwelling

         Mr. Trump is likely on his way to the GOP nomination for
President. It is not, however, a sure thing. Either Trump will have to secure
the necessary 1237 delegates before the convention in Cleveland or a floor fight
may ensue and he could lose either by being outmaneuvered by Ted Cruz or by
having the party turn to another stalwart like John Kasich. Apparently Ted Cruz
was able to secure a majority of delegates in Colorado because his ground team
was more adept at using the rules of the GOP’s process to win. Mr. Trump thinks
he has been cheated and is saying so, but he has not been duped. He is just not
as sophisticated as Mr. Cruz and the Cruz team at using the rules of the
process to their advantage. Tough darts.

         And this is only the beginning. If The Donald does not
secure the 1237, it is not at all beyond the pale that the GOP rules makers who
convene at the beginning of the Cleveland conclave may put new rules into
effect that will disadvantage Trump even further. Again, tough darts. That’s
the game.

         That Mr. Trump does not like the game or the way it is
played is of no consequence to anyone else. The rules have been the rules for
over a year. Learn them. Use them, but don’t complain about them. If you become
President, you can change them then. For now, get over yourself.

         And I must say the same is unfortunately the case for the MD
Anderson faculty.

         I fully agree with both the Faculty Senate and the
Chancellor that a meaningful form of shared governance for the cancer center is
a good idea. It is not, however, the rules. The rules say the President is
king. He gets to reverse all lower decisions including those for or against
tenure. He gets to spend all the money and seemingly gets to develop financial
reports like the one in the annual report that baffle rather than clarify. But,
as I said, that’s the rules and the President is allowed to create confusion,
sow the seeds of resentment, and to do so with impunity and without regard to
the state of the faculty and staff morale such decisions create.

         If Mr. Trump wants to change the manner by which the
Republicans pick their nominees for President and Vice President, he will have
to gain some actual power that others recognize. Similarly, if the Faculty Senate
and the Chancellor really want shared governance at MD Anderson I suggest that
they convene a high level Blue Ribbon Committee to rewrite the rule book
governing the way MD Anderson runs. As it is now, Dr. DePinho is doing nothing
wrong. He is also doing nothing particularly wise.

         MD
Anderson has been a benevolent dictatorship since its inception over 70 years
ago. In four Presidents, the UT Cancer Center has had leadership of various
degrees of autocracy from the firm-handed Clarke, to the politically astute
LeMaistre, to the academically pure but ethically compromised Mendelsohn, to the
current leader of truly frightening ethical lapses. MD Anderson will have more
Presidents over time and each will bring something different to the job. But
only by placing the process of choosing the President into a more open and
participatory context and to support a system of true mandatory shared
governance, will MD Anderson even approach the dysfunction of the political
parties of the United States. How depressing!

Leonard Zwelling