LEANING RIGHT--Unlike my counterparts from the Left, I will neither underestimate nor under empathize with those who approach this Christmas and New Year with dread and fear. There are quite a few reasons to fear a President-Elect Trump, but exploring the source and lessons from where that dread and fear are coming from show promise for our nation...and ourselves:
1) The Russians/Nazis/Racists are coming, and they're out to control and destroy our nation!
Well, well, well...I'd like to see them try. A bunch of skinheads and Nazis want to start pushing around Latinos, African-Americans, Muslims, and Jews? Wow. Now THAT would lead to a butt-whooping if ever I saw one--with the skinheads and Nazis being on the receiving end of that little smackdown.
Furthermore, if the Breitbart bunch are dominated by racists, then they're some of the silliest racists I've ever heard of, because they're dominated by Jewish editors. Sheriff Clarke, that bad-ass African-American sheriff of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin? Not exactly the kind of person I'd expect to tolerate any racist gibberish or crimes.
And the Russkies? Well, any hacking is a serious issue, but weren't we told for so long that the Clinton server and e-mails were no big deal? So why is any server/e-mail exposure to foreign hacking...now...a big deal? And are we being played by the President who once derided Mitt Romney that he was focused on the wrong decade?
No, I think that Ms. Clinton lost the presidential election of 2016 all by herself.
2) The Male Chauvinists are coming, and they're out to control and destroy our nation!
Well, well, well...I'd like to see them try. Eliminate the education and buying power of half our nation, would they?
Considering how the new Trump Administration stands to be filled with many women (including some firmly against Trump over the past election cycle), and considering how the new "first lady" (Ivanka, not Melania, Trump) will push for affordable childcare for single mothers, it's not too likely that women will be shoved out of the workforce.
And virtually all abortions will be legal for a long, long, long time, because even if Roe vs. Wade ever were reversed we'd see 50 states with laws allowing legalized abortion through the second trimester within nanoseconds. Of course, the question of why healthy babies with healthy mothers needed to have a third trimester abortion would finally be answered.
Although it might be nice to allow and demand that boys become good men, and to allow and demand that girls become good women. And with the understanding that LGBTQ rights should be upheld, it might be nice to dispel the notion that male and female humans are wired the same, or that one gender is "better" than the other.
3) The Polluters are coming, and they're out to control and destroy our nation!
Well, well, well...I'd like to see them try. I doubt that this nation is ready to shred its goals for clean water and fresh air, just to make a few greed-bags a few bucks.
Although the debate over what role the U.S. has in Global Warming, er Global Cooling, er, uh, Climate Change would be welcome. Because while anyone visiting Glacier National Park knows that the glacier for which that park is named has virtually melted away, what we can or should do about it is up for considerable debate.
And as for making a few greed-bags a few bucks? How about the Green Machine, where a few opportunists have allowed our local and regional utilities to thrash the middle class and their employers with high utility bills and excessive regulations that help a few connected folks get rich while the overall economy is hamstrung?
It's great that Big Oil has to account for its actions. It's now long overdue for Big Green to do the same. Perhaps population control and a healthy economy can stimulate environmental reform that REALLY works for EVERYONE.
4) The Christians are coming, and they're out to control and destroy our nation!
Well, well, well...I'd like to see them try. But which Christians are we talking about? The ones who accept and support Jews and the nation of Israel more than many American-born Jews do?
Which Christians are we talking about? The ones who enlisted in our nation's armed forces and fought to create and defend democracy and human rights of Muslims and others in Iraq, Afghanistan, and throughout the entire world?
Which Christians are we talking about? The ones who merely want to be left alone and celebrate their religion in peace, while encouraging the same for others? The ones who believe in charity and kindness to others? The ones who share followers of both black and white, both Asian and Arab, and both Catholic and Protestant backgrounds?
Well, I'm one Jew who doesn't tolerate any bigotry, or cruelty, or bullying, from anywhere or anyone...and I'm hardly alone. I've had Christians pray for my eternal soul, and I'll take any help I can get.
I'm solidly and blissfully aware of what Christmas means. Yes, it's the pagan/solstice thing that places December 25th as the birth of Yeshua, also known as Jesus, and also known as the Christ. It's not known whether Jesus was born on December 25th, but that's a moot point--it's THAT Jesus was born that matters.
And THAT there is a God to be worshipped who understands the joys and misery of the human condition, because Christmas celebrates a God who lived and died as a human to show God's never-ending Covenant with Humanity. No floods or rainbows...just a brief life and a painful, horrible death.
So Merry Christmas, everyone, and Happy Holidays to All. Fear not for what hasn't come to pass, but be ready and confident if bad things do come to pass.
There's no "don't worry, be happy" to be bandied about, but it shouldn't be forgotten that there's room to accept both our personal and national successes AND failures.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. Life will be filled with joys and battles to be experienced to the enrichment of us all. And we will say that, yes, we did have the privilege of living in very, very interesting times!
(Kenneth S. Alpern, M.D. is a dermatologist who has served in clinics in Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside Counties. 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 is co-chair of the CD11Transportation Advisory Committee and chairs the nonprofit Transit Coalition, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.)