Mon, Feb

It's MLK Day: To Prevent Racism, The Two-Party System (and Filibuster) Must Survive


THE DOCTOR IS IN - It's quite obvious that many (perhaps most) of those who read (or at least write for) CityWatch believe that the one-party ruling system of Los Angeles and California is just great.

Democrats all the way, Democrats surround us right and left, and Democrats teaching us from cradle to grave, and Democrats from college to the L.A. Times...well, you get the point. 

And it's quite obvious that many (perhaps most) reading CityWatch, and/or live in large cities with Democratic one-party rule are wondering how "those racist Republicans" can stop "voting rights" while ignoring the miserable plight of minorities who are bailing out of cities at record rates, and who are actually becoming Republicans at record rates. 

Many of you reading this have NO idea of who Republicans are (and make damned sure you don't knowingly consort with them), and for those of you Republicans (Fox News and Newsmax only, right?) who lump all Democrats as one monolithic entity...you're not much better. 

But you/we all keep forgetting one key principle: Democratic leadership, and Republican leadership, pretty much suck. That's why we need the Constitution (and filibuster) to keep each party in check. 

One party speaking for minorities? One party speaking for white people? One party speaking for America? 

Oh, please! Give it a rest. Just admit that you're a hopeless partisan...unless, perhaps, you're a true Independent (not a faux-Independent who's a Democrat enabler, or a faux-Independent who's a Republican enabler). 

Let's just remember:  

1) The late Senator John McCain preserved Obamacare despite the wishes of Donald Trump and his Republican Party. The needs of minorities were, in the eyes of many, well met by the once-resented, now-beloved, Democrats' best friend John McCain. 

2) The late Senator Harry Reid slammed through a slew of judges without a 60-vote Senate approval, and despite warnings from Republican senators who warned about how that could backfire on the Democratic Party. Then the White House and Senate became Republican, and the judiciary--all the way up to the Supreme Court--changed dramatically. 

3) Now we have Senators Manchin and Sinema getting all types of heat and fury against Democrats in the same manner that Senators John McCain and Mitt Romney got and get from Republicans. And now Manchin and Sinema are Republicans' best friends, and McCain and Romeny were and are Democrats' best friends. 

But maybe, just maybe, those with the guts and memory of what they learned in American history and civics classes (we don't teach much of either, do we...or at least in an impartial manner) recognize that our two-party system is the best way we can preserve the rights of both majority and minority Americans. 

Let's also remember (or at least try to open our eyes, ears and brains to these realities): 

1) Both the tiki torch-bearing numbskulls and racists who went overboard at Charlottesville, and the destructive numbskulls and racists at Black Lives Matter rallies who also went overboard, are responsible for the suffering, discrimination, and even deaths of Black, Latino, and Asian-American citizens in our nation. 

2) The late Tuskegee Airman (and American hero) Charles McGee just died at age 100, and was both honored by and promoted from Colonel to Brigadier General by Republican former President Donald Trump).


From his youth as an Eagle Scout, to his activism in the civil rights movement, McGee was nothing short of being an amazing American patriot. Yet two of the most extreme members of the Democratic Party, House Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, did not stand for that recognition of Charles McGee. 

It's not hard to conclude that most American Democrats don't stand with Omar and Tlaib, or at least have grave concerns about them. Probably the same can be said about how many (most, perhaps?) American Republicans feel about GOP House Representatives Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene. 

3) Both Martin Luther King, Jr. and his niece, former Georgia state representative Alveda Celeste King, were and are ardent Republicans. Neither major political party has a monopoly on appreciating what MLK stood for any more than a monopoly on appreciating what President Abraham Lincoln stood for. 

4) Black Republicans (or at least Black conservatives) are increasing in number. Whether it's for voting for Trump or any other rightward-leaning trends, many won't remain uniformly Democrat (despite overwhelming majority of Black Americans leaning Democratic). 

Some of you reading this may know who Winsome Sears or Candace Owens are, and probably more of you have heard of Herschel Walker, but the trend of Black Americans refusing to be "owned" by either political party is on the indisputable rise. 

So enter President Joe Biden, who needed an overwhelmingly-biased and discriminating media exposure, and a pandemic with associated emergency-based overriding of state elections laws, to topple former President Donald Trump while hiding in his basement during 2020.   

Trump got too much media exposure, say many, during the 2016 presidential race against Hillary Clinton, and got too much media censorship, say many, during the 2020 campaign. 

And probably both Trump and Biden have been labelled as lying, gaslighting, blowhards who've proclaimed they're going to unite the nation but who arguably have done anything but. They've also claimed they speak for American minorities, much to the fury of their detractors. 

Again, enter Joe Biden, who wants to end the filibuster because those disagreeing with the so-called Voting Rights Act are all just a bunch of horrible racists (kind of like Hillary Clinton's labelling of so many Americans as "deplorables". Many Americans do NOT, despite its name, believe that the Voting Rights Act is anything that will help voters' rights...just ensure Democratic one-party rule..

Some harsh realities for President Biden: 

1) President Biden's Georgia speech decrying those against his bill and filibuster may likely end his credibility altogether with a plurality, or even majority, of the American people 

2) Democratic Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams purposefully avoided Biden's speech. It's obvious she didn't want to alienate Independent and moderate Georgians. 

3) Former Democratic presidential candidate and Reverend Al Sharpton decried Biden's address as a "you're going to hell" speech and not a vote-getting one. It's obvious that the more President Biden opens his mouth (kind of like his predecessor, perhaps), his support will inevitably plummet downwards. 

4) Some blue states, including President Biden's home state of Delaware, are more restrictive than Georgia with respect to voting laws. A cynic would perhaps wonder if Biden's focus, and Democrats' collective focus, on Georgia is entirely related to Georgia being a battleground state. That cynic would probably be correct. 

5) As stated by House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.), Sinema's defense of the filibuster is needed to protect against a potential future GOP Congressional majority from making sweeping changes in the future. Quite clearly, Representative Clyburn is equating "democracy" with keeping the GOP from ever gaining control of Congress.  

6) The allowance of New York City of noncitizen voters might seem like a trailblazing democratic initiative, but to others (including Black Americans) will be seen as an attempt to thwart United States laws (and which is not practiced in virtually every other nation in the world. 

7) Virginia's new Republican governor, Glenn Youngkin, elected in large part because of voter outrage over a race-obsessed (if not downright racist) Critical Race Theory taught in schools, is supported by Virginians of all parties for reversing a brainwashing of American children throughout the state (and throughout the nation) to divide, not unite, our nation. 

8) Hence we see frustrated (and perhaps terrified) Democratic political leaders calling for a "reset" ahead of the midterm elections.  

So-called "voting rights"--which includes, of course, ballot harvesting where potential voters of but one party are favored over another, and who are contacted in their homes, and without proper voter identification favored even by most Black Americans--is as much a "democracy/voting initiative" as it is an Orwellian "groupthink" or papering over of a precursor to one-party rule. 

And enough Americans are getting that to understand why Democrats are being as "democratic" as their party label suggests (including those Americans who aren't too thrilled about Republican political leaders, either). 

9) So now we have former Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer, now Majority leader, who once championed the filibuster to block judicial nominees, actually calling for that filibuster's end. 

One must wonder if Schumer will walk in Harry Reid's footsteps if he gets his way about the filibuster, which certain would set a bad precedent for blowback if the GOP ever took over the Senate and Congress (and the White House, to boot).  

To conclude: 

1) Joe Biden might demand an end to the filibuster...but if the GOP is infuriated enough, and American Independents are infuriated enough, there will be as many impeachment efforts against Joe Biden as there were against Donald Trump. Biden is no more loved by the majority of Americans than was his predecessor.

2) A Gallup Poll just showed slightly more Americans identifying themselves as Republicans, or at least leaning Republican, than they identify themselves Democrats over the course of 2021. 

3) Therefore those CityWatch readers who want to pillory, tar-and-feather, and otherwise boot Senators Manchin and Sinema might want to consider that--in the long run--the efforts of those two senators to preserve the filibuster (and save the two-party system that made America great) might actually SAVE the Democratic Party from its own extremists. 


(Kenneth S. Alpern, M.D, is a dermatologist who has served in clinics in Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside Counties, and is a proud husband and father to two cherished children and a wonderful wife. He was termed out of the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC) twice after two stints as a Board member for 9, years and is also a Board member of the Westside Village Homeowners Association. He previously co-chaired the MVCC Outreach, Planning, and Transportation/Infrastructure Committees for 10 years. He was previously co-chair of the CD11 Transportation Advisory Committee, the grassroots Friends of the Green Line (which focused on a Green Line/LAX connection), and the nonprofit Transit Coalition His latest project is his fictional online book entitled The Unforgotten Tales of Middle-Earth and can be reached at [email protected]. The views expressed in this article are solely those of Dr. Alpern.)