It’s Out Of Control


It’s Out Of Control


Leonard Zwelling

One of the criticisms I get about my writing is people saying the blogs are depressing even when these readers agree with the positions I take.

Sorry about that, but I just call them as I see them.

In The New York Times on July 16, three op-eds caught my eye as being indicative of what’s going on in the world and how out of control the world seems to be spinning.

The first piece is about the Ob-Gyn doc from Indiana who performed an abortion on a ten-year old from Ohio who had been impregnated during a rape and who could not obtain an abortion legally in Ohio due to its strict laws. The doctor’s name is Caitlin Bernard and she is now under investigation in Indiana by that state’s attorney general. She was also attacked in the press, particularly the right-wing press, which did not believe her story. Then the rapist confessed proving that the good doctor was right all along. Even The Wall Street Journal is quoted as having said Dr. Caitliin’s story was a “fanciful tale.” Well, it was all true. As her colleague Dr. Tracey A. Wilkinson noted in the op-ed: “doctors have sworn to do no harm. Clearly, many of those in power have not.”  All this example shows is the narrow-mindedness and short-sightedness of the Supreme Court and Red state legislatures who are formulating laws that will really damage people. Both the Supreme Court and these legislatures are indeed out of control.

In the second essay, Jesse Wegman discusses the uptick in gerrymandering that is undermining our representative government. Both Red state legislatures and those in Blue states are doing it, but some of the states are at least appointing independent boards to redistrict after the census. Just as the Supreme Court is placing the opinions of five individuals above the well-being and beliefs of the majority of Americans, partisan legislatures are doing everything in their power to hold on to power a la Donald Trump. That’s not the government the Founding Fathers had planned. It’s time for the Congress to pass legislation that prevents the redrawing of congressional districts to minimize the power of a voting group whether along racial, gender, or political lines. The easiest answer is to draw all congressional districts as quadrilaterals independent of who lives where. Make a grid and move on.

Finally, there’s a lot of false nostalgia going on right now where people are claiming how great things were in the past and how much better off we would be if we returned to those times. These are reactionary thoughts often and not always based on reality. The example given in the third piece is of the Philippines which just elected Ferdinand Marcos Jr to the presidency despite the dreadful record of his father and mother. Apparently neither truth nor accountability for past sins were part of his campaign rhetoric. Often when people are desperate, they seek to return to the bad old days that they remember as good. The Marcos Sr days in the Philippines were not good. Remember his mother’s shoe collection?

That being said, there are some elements of the past worthy of preserving. I am thinking of MD Anderson now with a deep history of academic excellence, superb patient care, and a faculty-led campaign against malignant diseases. The concept behind One MD Anderson that suggests that the faculty are indistinguishable from the rest of the staff at Anderson is not one to which I espouse.

In a world where an old man runs against another old man for President of the United States, where one seems to be cognitively challenged and the other is a egomaniacal TV star who wishes to become a dictator, one cannot help but think things are out of control. I just wish I could formulate a way to get the adults back in charge. Maybe, we need some younger folks as leaders, and none of them with a last name of Junior.

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