Huffington blog


May 30, 2017


Still energized by meeting political maverick Senator Russ Feingold last week I am exhilarated by the news that Nevada voters just joined the call to overturn the Citizens United verdict by the Supreme Court through a constitutional amendment. As such Nevada joins California, Washington, and sixteen other states to qualify for the minimum thirty-eight states to create a Constitutional Amendment. We will franchise the Supreme Court to reverse their outrageous decision to consider corporations as primary citizens instead of powerful political entities. I wonder what George and Thomas and John Adams would say with the present decision.

I am exhilarated too by being in the East again, this time primarily to attend the wedding of Rich Joseph last week. Rich was one of my amazing students in the Med School. We met during his freshman year, fresh from graduating from Yale undergraduate. He has now completed his MD course, and is currently finishing his first year residency in Internal Medicine at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston. I have vicariously invested in his future that is immense. While at Stanford he not only completed his medical studies but he was central in the creation of a Lifestyle Medicine course in our medical school curriculum modeled after Eddie Phillips’ burgeoning similar effort to incorporate behavioral medicine at Harvard .While here at Stanford School of Medicine Rich also marshaled the determination to attain his MBA at the vaunted Stanford Graduate School of Business simultaneously, receiving both his business and medical degrees on the same day. The collective pride in extraordinary accomplishment was palpable. I was there. I was proud to be a part of this building process to change the world.

Sixty-four years ago I also was in Boston at a wedding , my own. This time I was accompanied by my glorious daughter Gretchen instead of by my bride-to-be. Gretchen joined me in toasting the bride, groom, and other guest celebrants at the lovely occasion on the Connecticut shore.

Other East Coast errands still are in the planning stage. Maybe primary is hawking a new book proposal in New York. Also attending a fund raiser with old friend and anointed hell raiser Erica Jong tomorrow ,and meeting old chum Bud Veech at the NIH on Friday. Then California awaits,(right back where I started from).

This week in the East elicits thousands of memories. Relics from the Revolutionary War abound. No apathy or apeasement then.

Now we need 19 more states to join this heraldic call for democracy. We need to become the UNITED States of America again instead of this fractured pretense that Citizens United has foisted on us. Being East again I wonder if I might reincarnate Patrick Henry to tread the Freedom Trail. If Citizens United had had a table at our Constitutional Convention we would be a vastly different nation today instead of that to which we’re proud and happy to pledge allegiance .We need to re-energize Thomas Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton, Ben, George and the rest to recapture what now is in the shadow. Insist on pursuing the bold provisions of life, liberty, and the pursuit of meaning.

Thanks to Nevada our idealism can be restored. We must get rid of dirty money and unbridled corporate power.

Other states: please VOTE ON! VOTE ON!

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