Author and consumer advocate Ralph Nader, the 1996 and 2000 Green Party presidential nominee, 2004 Independent presidential candidate and Reform Party presidential nominee, and 2008 Independent presidential candidate and the Peace and Freedom Party presidential nominee, published the following editorial today on his website Nader.org.
“We honor what we value,” goes the old saying. In our hedonistic culture we value most those who can put a ball in a hole. We ignore those who save lives through civic action.
The sports champions – golf, basketball, football, and baseball – receive riches and accolades from the masses. They are inducted into “Halls of Fame” and are the subjects of biographies, and documentary and feature films. As for the mass life-savers –few even know their names, much less their dramatic victories against overwhelming odds.
I was reminded of this contrast by a major New York Times Sports feature on Tiger Woods and his comeback win in the 2019 Masters Tournament, which was watched breathlessly by millions of golf fans around the world. Praises poured in on social media and many articles, features, and editorials covered every nuance of this golf match.
Barack Obama tweeted, “To come back and win the Masters after all the highs and lows is a testament to excellence, grit, and determination.”
What about the excellence, grit and determination of economist James Love? In the midst of the horrendous HIV epidemic, Love brilliantly organized, argued, wrote, and traveled the world before he found Dr. Yusuf Hamied and Cipla, an Indian company that took down Big Pharma’s $10,000 price for HIV drugs per African patient per year to $300 per patient. Neither Love nor his allies William Haddad and Robert Weissman were the subjects of features in major media outlets.
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