LEANING RIGHT--Americans of all political stripes will have to get used to the following term: "President Trump" -- the same as they did "President Obama" or "President Bush.” While it's a shame that some of us are in so much pain during this profound transition, it's still necessary for all Americans to courageously and compassionately lead by example during this new American Era.
Things to Consider:
1) We had miserable and suffering Americans without proper and/or affordable health care before the Affordable Care Act, and we have miserable and suffering Americans without proper and/or affordable health care after the Affordable Care Act. The debates rage on as to who was better or worse off -- moving forward, will you be part of the problem or the answer?
2) We have natural-born Americans, legal immigrants, illegal immigrants, illegal aliens, and criminal aliens. Employment, crime, and balancing our city/county/state budgets have all been adversely affected by our federal government taking an inconsistent approach to this vital issue -- moving forward, will you be part of the problem or the answer?
3) Our budgeting for Social Security and Medicare is threatened by those programs either being mismanaged, redirected into the general budget, or misspent. Retirees who are among the happiest in our nation do not rely on Social Security for their survival, and the debate rages on as to how best to accommodate the needs of Medicare patients-- moving forward, will you be part of the problem or the answer?
4) As a nation, we spend too little on saving for our own retirement, and spend too much for the basics of day to day living. The debate rages as to what "the basics are" but most believe our utility bills are too high to be sustainable for the middle class -- in all fifty states. Housing costs and food costs are also increasingly unaffordable for too many -- moving forward, will you be part of the problem or the answer?
5) Our youth has too little knowledge of history, civics, fiscal literacy, or even how to take care of themselves as self-sustaining adults. High school students (and even college students) have too often a dearth of job skills that allow them access to higher-paying careers, and there are too few apprentice programs for vocational skills/degrees to allow for other vital jobs in our nation -- moving forward, will you be part of the problem or the answer?
6) Our urban centers suffer from too much unemployment in quality jobs, too much under-employment, and too little hope for a better future -- moving forward, will you be part of the problem or the answer?
7) Environmental issues abound, and economic woes for the average American middle class citizen abound, while those living in elite bubbles proclaim that there's never been a better time to be alive. And at the same time parents wonder if their children will enjoy a better quality of life than they have had -- moving forward, will you be part of the problem or the answer?
8) The concepts and paradigms of "the melting pot" and "the American identity" appear to be in perpetual conflict with "diversity”, while the concepts and paradigms of "political diversity" appear to be in perpetual conflict with "political correctness" -- moving forward, will you be part of the problem or the answer?
9) Freedom of Religion appears to be in increasing conflict with Freedom from Religion, and the role of Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and other religions in both our nation and our world appears to be leading to ever-increasing levels of strife and even violence -- moving forward, will you be part of the problem or the answer?
10) Finally, too many Americans are looking at outgoing President Obama or incoming President Trump as their all-saving, all-preserving hero while entirely ignoring the individual shortcomings of their personal lives.
Moving forward, will you be part of the problem or the answer?
(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 [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 Dr. Alpern.) Edited for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.