Where Medicine and the Constitution Intersect
A very special event at Old Parkland Hospital in Dallas
Last night, Dr. McCullough gave an interview before a large audience in the Debate Chamber of the Old Parkland Hospital in Dallas. Founded in 1894, Old Parkland served the people of Dallas through two World Wars as a teaching hospital and innovator in medical technologies. In 1954, the working hospital moved to a new location (to where President Kennedy was rushed on November 22, 1963). However, the original Old Parkland buildings remained in use for other city and county services.
In 2006, Crow Holdings acquired the historic landmark with plans to preserve, renovate, and develop the 12-acre property as Dallas’ premier office campus. As a Dallas Morning News feature described the renovated campus:
This is an American fantasyland created by Crow as an homage to the American Experiment. Towering bronze statues of founding fathers George Washington, Alexander Hamilton and Benjamin Franklin stand as sentinels at three buildings.
“The idea was to celebrate the ideas of the American founding using specific founders, but also their intellectual antecedents from the Enlightenment,” says [Harlan] Crow, who’s more than just a history buff. “So there’s a lot of John Locke and Adam Smith and guys from the Enlightenment who never came to America but who greatly influenced the founders.”
More than two dozen sculptures by Auguste Rodin, Antoine Bourdelle and Aristide Maillol grace the 9.5-acre grounds, half of which is communal green space.
I have long admired Harlan Crow for his extraordinarily beautiful “homage to the American Experiment.” The building containing the Debate Chamber is a masterpiece of the Federal Style of architecture, graced by portraits of Washington, Jefferson, and Madison.
Since I started working with Dr. McCullough two years ago, I have held the conviction that he is our country’s most rigorous defender of the United States Constitution against encroachments by dictatorial emergency power.
To understand what I mean by this, consider that every notable dictator in history has invoked “Emergency Power” in order to augment his executive power and to suspend normal legal protections. The reason why this tyrannical gambit always works is that when people are frightened of an emergency, they crave protection from the state, and willingly suspend their liberties.
James Madison, the author of the U.S. Constitution, perfectly understood this, and he frequently wrote and spoke about it. For most of history, dictators invoked the emergency of armed men invading or purportedly threatening to invade. In 2020, the Secretary of Health and Human Services invoked the emergency of an invasion by invisible pathogens. Dr. McCullough understood that the proper response to this threat was not to lock everyone down—a drastic measure that would not make the virus go away—but to treat the illness in order to prevent people from going to hospital and dying.
In defining the Mission of McCullough Foundation, I conceived our key objective as conducting scholarship and education not only for optimizing public health, but also for defending Madison’s basic principles in framing our Constitutional Republic.
We thank Mr. Harlan Crow for his homage to the founding principles of our Republic, and for graciously allowing Dr. McCullough to address a large assembly on his splendid campus. Special thanks to Austin Hopper for proposing and facilitating the event.
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