LEANING RIGHT--If you think this is a piece that will proclaim Donald Trump as the voice and the messenger this nation ideally needs, then it's best right now to state that this ain't that piece.
Heck, I doubt that even Mr. Trump believes he's got the eloquence of Kennedy or Reagan or Teddy Roosevelt ... but there are many reasons why Trump's supporters stand behind him ... and NO, it's NOT racism!
You want racism? Then check out how racial divisions, and neglect of black and brown minorities, and lack of school choice and opportunities for these minorities, have worsened and even exploded under Democratic rule. Just ask yourselves if those black and brown Americans (many of them Democrats!) are "allowed" to speak up and complain about "the man".
Particularly if "the man" is a Democrat. Or maybe even an African-American Democrat.
1) Enough of the New Racism, already--wherever it comes from!
Are we past the era of race-baiting, opportunistic hucksters Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, or are we now entering an era of a "race conscious" cottage industry (I refer to this industry as the New Racism) geared to establish a new generation of divisive, counterproductive and self-promoting "community leaders" to become and remain both powerful and wealthy?
Having fought like hell for 10-15 years for an Exposition Light Rail Line to connect the Westside, Mid-City, and Downtown portions of Los Angeles, and having done so proudly with other Angelenos of all political, socioeconomic and ethnic stripes, and having done so in large part to bring the City and County back together after the 1992 riots, I can assure you that racism is alive and well here.
That's right--in the City of the Angels--and present among white, black, and brown Angeleno leaders. My experience engaging with civic and political leaders, who I presumed would be both intent and content with bringing communities together, proved this presumption dead wrong.
But ENOUGH of this obsession with race! I'm a dermatologist by trade, and I assure you that the issues of skin color mean virtually zero beyond the world of dermatology, in the same way that eye and hair color do. If a white man marries a black woman (or even if they don't marry), there is NO biological obstacle to them having children. We're all one race: the human race.
So when the founder of the "birther" movement, one Hillary Clinton, proclaims Trump's supporters to be neo-Nazis and racists who are all just right-wing nut jobs and "birthers" by nature, well, that's where Americans of all political stripes will have to learn to confront their own racism--especially and including the New Racism from the Left.
Particularly the racism and frustrations that lead to national divisions stemming from a lack of economic opportunities. Shall I ignore my fellow doctors, professionals and patients of ALL racial and socioeconomic backgrounds who acknowledge they're financially hanging by their fingernails, and that many of them (secretly, of course...GOTTA keep it secret!) support Trump?
2) Just how much are we supposed to ignore and pretend isn't harming our nation?
Shall we ignore the exploding costs of what should be dirt-cheap medicines, many of them manufactured by plundering pharmaceutical companies led by Democrats and others tied to the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton campaign?
Shall we ignore the "new normal" of disgusting creeps like overpaid Colin Kaepernick of the 49ers sitting down during the national anthem as a "protest" against wrongdoings against African Americans, and his team and the NFL being OK with that...while African American and other American military and police officers are fighting and dying for our safety?
Shall we ignore the withering abuse that the Huffington Post, MSN, and Yahoo are hurling at its readers in their all-too-biased slant for the "correct" candidate--you know, that honest, easily-accessible, and idealistic candidate who is free of controversy? Or are these major news outlets ignoring the killing zone that is Chicago while belittling Trump ... not on the substance of his message, but the wording of his tweets in asking African Americans to vote for a better future?
Shall we ignore the decades of calling for an end to the violence and bloodshed destroying African Americans' hopes and lives...and being told we're racists for even bringing it up? How about the brown-on-black gang killings that get amazingly and frightfully underreported...is that racist to decry this new trend?
Shall we ignore the reality that, were this nation to have the political will, we could bring back to our shores the manufacturing jobs that were once the mainstay of American middle-class economic strength?
Shall we ignore the economic reality that "unemployment" being relatively low (based on how it's being measured) entirely masks the reality of double-digit underemployment, and that having multiple jobs without any guarantee of employer-paid benefits is now the new normal?
3) So where the heck do independents, moderates, and conservatives fed up with both political parties go to find out just what on earth is REALLY going on?
Well, we can forget the major news outlets (ABC, CBS, NBC, Huffington Post, Yahoo, MSN), and we can forget the Clinton News Network (CNN) because they're hideously one-sided.
And we can forget about Fox News, too--it's well-watched by conservatives disgusted by the overwhelming left-wing bent of our media, but it's no secret that Fox isn't as "fair and balanced" as they promote themselves to be.
Enter the "alt-right" Breitbart.com, named after the conservative, media-savvy, and iconoclastic Andrew Breitbart who, unfortunately, died relatively early in his life of heart disease. Enter the Drudge Report. And to hell with the National Review and other old-school conservative news sources who did and still ram the Bush Family, John McCain, and Mitt Romney down our throats.
Enough Americans were fed up with BOTH political parties selling out the American People while proclaiming to be their representatives that moderates and independents came out in droves to register Republican, and proceeded to boot out the Bush Family--both George W. Bush and his brother Jeb.
Goodbye, namby-pamby career politicians who favored those here illegally over those citizens playing by the rules ... and especially a goodbye to those employers who should be in jail for breaking minimum wage rules and driving down wages to unsustainable levels. It's easy to understand the plight of illegal aliens, but NOT their disgusting, exploitative employers.
So what's on Breitbart.com lately, as of 8/28/2016?
Well, let's see: the makers of the app used to destroy the Clinton e-mails are boasting about hindering the FBI investigation.
...aaaaand Dr. Drew Pinsky's show on Headline News is being shut down after five years after he questioned Ms. Hillary Clinton's health.
...aaaaand former Secretary of State Clinton's calendars as secretary of state won't be released until after the election.
...aaaaand former Clinton Global Initiative moderator Adam Davidson, who hosts a show on NPR, slammed the Clinton Foundation, and said in a podcast that the Clinton's were "beholden to scumbags" because of their work with that Foundation.
...aaaaand the entire Facebook "Trending News" team was fired after their progressive biases were revealed by Breitbart Tech last month.
Kinda like Trump's tweets: brass, some poorly- and hastily- and inappropriately-phrased. But if one focuses on whether they were TRUE ... well, maybe the truth hurts, but it's still the truth.
Of course, in this age of political correctness, there are those who care more about what a person SAYS than what that person DOES. I suppose that, if you're one of those folks, then both this President and his former Secretary of State must make you very happy and excited to be living in these times.
If, however, you are old enough to remember President Nixon, and learned about how his lies (relatively mild, by today's standards) got him to resign under pressure from both parties, you must be wondering what kind of nightmarish era we're entering. Presidential lies and media bias are now working together against the will of the democracy-trained, rule-abiding citizen.
But if it makes you feel better, Trump DID take the GOP Establishment (and the Koch Brothers) down a few notches...and they're still not over it. Trump attacked Bush's wars during the GOP primary debates, as well as Bush's actions that led to the Great Recession. The Christian Moral Majority now follows the lead of the GOP presidential candidate, and not the other way around.
And so how did that Bernie Sanders being undermined by Debbie Wasserman Schultz thing go...did the Democratic Establishment get taken down a few notches, too? Justice incarnate for the little guy and gal trying to live in a free society? Wall Street being forced to take a back seat to Main Street? Are billionaire George Soros, Warren Buffett and Mark Cuban brought to bear, now?
So maybe, just maybe, we have a moderate-conservative coalition led by Mr. Trump who feel more empowered than they've felt in decades.
Maybe this coalition won't lean too far right or left, but will instead tread the middle ground to do the RIGHT thing, and won't fall to the free-market-without-rules, cheap-labor-at-any-cost-to-middle-class-America crowd that is the current GOP leadership, and won't fall to the let's-say-we're-for-the-common-man-but-really-we-love-the-monied-elites that is the current Democratic leadership, either.
"Alt-right" is an abused term now meant to discredit those moderate to conservative Americans calling for a rule of law, and to establish rules of fairness and inclusiveness, and to make sure that all Americans, of all races, get a fair shot at the American Dream while promoting the Melting Pot paradigm that made this nation great.
And for those of you still convinced and appalled that tens of millions of urgent and alarmed Trump supporters have turned to the Orange Man (and want others to do the same) as their last hope for a united America that's fair to the middle class, and are doing so because of sheer racism, perhaps there's something you should confront:
Why are you equating love of country as constituting racism?
(Ken Alpern is 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 [email protected]. 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 Mr. Alpern.)