Bernie Sanders, the Laetrile candidate

Bernie Sanders (1 of 1)The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved laetrile as a treatment for cancer in the United States. The drug is made and used as a cancer treatment in Mexico. National Cancer Institute website.

Years ago, when I was a young man, a business friend was diagnosed with terminal cancer. He decided to go to Mexico to get Laetrile treatments. Laetrile had been in the news, but most of the news was about how it didn’t work and I asked him “Why?” His answer changed my thinking.

My friend said his doctor and the specialists he was sent to all said that he had terminal cancer, that he had no hope of a cure, and he should spend his energy making sure his affairs were in order, but the doctor at the Laetrile Center in Tijuana said that Laetrile sometimes worked. He preferred to believe that the doctor who gave him hope was right rather than the doctor who said it was unreasonable to have any hope and that Laetrile could just make it worse (although it seems hard to believe that any result could be worse than dying of cancer).

I sort of feel that way about Bernie Sanders. He is a deeply flawed candidate – he is 74 and doesn’t comb his hair for crying out loud – but he is also the only candidate who stands a chance, any chance, in moving the government in a direction I think we need to go. The way I see it we have a choice between two candidates. One, Clinton, says that it is unrealistic to expect real change and she will be a continuation of Bill Clinton’s and Barak Obama’s policies, in effect, it will be business as usual only she will push harder. The other, Bernie Sanders, says that we can make change and the way to do it is to vote for him and people who will support the change we want. That, like Obama in 2008, he will enlarge the Democratic voter turnout and the increased turnout will result in more Senators and Representative who will support him.

Michele has pointed out that Laetrile doesn’t work, that people go to Mexico to take it, and still die of cancer. That is true and, when I am honest with myself, Bernie probably won’t be the cure, he probably can’t change Washington, he probably is too much of an outsider, but probably is the operative word here and the other side of probably is maybe. Maybe Bernie Sanders is right, maybe he will generate a big turnout and a big turnout will enable change. These are strange times, and it did happen before, with both Teddy Roosevelt and Franklin Roosevelt.

2 thoughts on “Bernie Sanders, the Laetrile candidate

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *