|Access the digital 1st quarter issue of the 2021 WCMS Bulletin:
What to Look for in this Edition of the WCMS Bulletin form Editor Richard Burney, MD:
No one who has watched and read accounts of the storming of the Capitol on January 6 of this year can deny there is a rogue elephant in the room: we came that close, just that close, to a successful authoritarian attempt to disrupt the election process, disenfranchise voters by means of meritless lawsuits whose aim was to sow doubt about the legitimacy of the election, and create chaos that, along with other means and propaganda, could be used to overthrow the election result.* These are the well-known tactics of dictators and demagogues. And these things don't just happen without enablers.**
As the events of January 6 unfolded, a surprising number of our elected representatives chose to side with the insurgents, claiming falsely for purely personal political purposes to perpetuate the lie that the election was "stolen." Some of these elected officials were from Michigan. Some of them had been endorsed by MDPAC, the political action committee closely associated with the Michigan State Medical Society. How does something like this happen? Do the physicians of Michigan really want to give future support to candidates who voted to the overthrow of the election and undermine Democracy?
In January 2021, the WCMS Executive Council wrote a letter to Mark Komorowski, MD, Chair of the MDPAC Board, asking that MDPAC no longer contribute to the campaigns of these officials. The Bulletin felt this letter was worthy of publication and you can read the letter in this issue. You can also read Dr. Komorowski's response to the WCMS letter, and a brief, additional comment.
Prior to these events, following a disappointing end to the Health Can't Wait initiative in last year's legislative session (described in the last edition of The Bulletin), I've looked into the status of politics, PACs, and advocacy. You can read more about this on page 8. The Beatles were right: money can't buy me love.
I would also call your attention to our 2021 President Terence Joiner's message, which is most timely: In these times of crisis, physicians do not get a pass. The Bulletin agrees.
Due to COVID-19, the MSMS House of Delegates meeting will again be held virtually in 2021. WCMS has been allocated 13 delegates who have discussed and drafted many interesting and timely resolutions. For more information, turn to page 20.
Finally, if you are looking for diversion, consider another look at 18th century literature, Tolstoy in particular (see page 18). In War and Peace, Tolstoy dispels the myth of the great man, denigrates the wisdom of historians and reassures us that life will go on because of love, in spite of tragedy, as it always has.
*If you have any doubt, you should listen to the February 19th New Yorker Radio Hour podcast with Representative Jamie Raskin.
**Read Anne Applebaum's essay in The Atlantic, History Will Judge the Complicit, and her book, Twilight of Democracy: The Lure of Authoritarianism.