ALPERN AT LARGE--From the bottom of my heart, I would rather write about transportation because it's relatively non-partisan, more meaningful to our daily lives, and speaks to our collective vision and aspirations. Ditto with Planning, Homelessness and Health Care.
Yet there's all of this "Stupid" out there that distracts and upsets us all, and as both a physician, a neighborhood councilmember, and a husband/father I can't just look the other way at the Stupid taking over all of us.
Some of us believe that more gun control is the answer to domestic terrorism and acts of workplace and other violence. I'm not a big fan of "guns everywhere" but I'm not sure they're as "correct" as they think they are (and I helped support the fight for the Brady Bill years ago).
Some of us believe that a heavier police presence is the answer to our violence and other safety/security woes. I'm not a big fan of "police are the enemy" but I'm not sure that policing us all to the extent we're losing our freedoms is the answer to the problems of our present day.
Some of us believe that the First Amendment is under attack from the President and the Far Right. I'm not a big fan of the Far Right, but isn't the hate speech emanating primarily from the Far Left? Compared to the attacks on President Obama from the Right, aren't the attacks on the current President by far worse?
Some of us believe that President Trump and his supporters have caused a lack of civility in our society. I'm not a big fan of anything inappropriate said or done by Donald Trump or his supporters, but aren't the actions of Kathy Griffin, Reza Aslan, and both Hollywood and the Classic/Mainstream Media by far more uncivil?
Some of us believe that the true enemy of the world is Donald Trump. I'm not a big fan of any hurt feelings that President Trump has caused, but aren't the true enemies of the world located in North Korea, Iran, ISIS, and Afghanistan?
Some of us believe that the Democratic Party has single-handedly hurt health care with the Affordable Care Act. I'm not a big fan of that act, and it caused anything BUT greater affordability for health care, but is the House-passed American Health Care Act any better? "Obamacare" is falling apart of its own weight, but is "Trumpcare" proven or likely to be any better (if we know what that really is?)
Some of us believe that Sarah Palin (photo above) caused the shooting of Gabby Giffords, but a better study of the crazed shooter showed that he had no political affiliation and he was just deranged. I'm not a big fan of Sarah Palin, but blaming her really made her accusers look downright silly. Blame the shooter ... period.
Some of us believe that Bernie Sanders caused the shooting of Steve Scalise, but a better study of the crazed shooter showed that he had outrageous violent thoughts against both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. I'm not a big fan of Bernie Sanders, but blaming him really makes his accusers look downright silly. Blame the shooter ... period.
My own silly $.02 is that Sarah Palin speaks poorly and defines the problems just as poorly ... but probably had some common sense answers to the problems facing the shrinking and beleaguered middle class, and was a true supporter of the American people. Alternatively, Bernie Sanders speaks well about the problems facing the shrinking and beleaguered middle class, but his answers were just too unworkable and simplistic.
My own silly $.02 is that the world would have been a better place if John McCain had won in 2000, and not George W. Bush. Similarly, the world would have been a better place if Hillary Clinton had won in 2008, and not Barack Obama. I voted for Bush and Obama, and now I wish that McCain, Bush, Clinton, Gore, Kerry, and Obama would just all go away and enjoy their lives quietly as private citizens.
But who the heck cares what I think, or believe, or write? All I know is that Stupid is overwhelming us all ... and it's darned hard to find out who the good guys are when there are so many bad and divisive forces prospering and profiteering from the disruption and divisiveness in our society.
So maybe we should just focus on our own lives, and our own communities, and the next time someone does or says something stupid or bad ... blame the person.
And not the group of people with whom that person might or might not be affiliated.
(Kenneth S. Alpern, M.D. is a dermatologist who has served in clinics in Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside Counties, and is a proud father and husband to two cherished children and a wonderful wife. He is also a Westside Village Zone Director and Board member of the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC), previously co-chaired its Planning and Outreach Committees, and currently is Co-Chair of its MVCC Transportation/Infrastructure Committee. He was co-chair of the CD11 Transportation Advisory Committee and chaired the nonprofit Transit Coalition, and can be reached at email@example.com. He also co-chairs the grassroots Friends of the Green Line at www.fogl.us . The views expressed in this article are solely those of Dr. Alpern.)