ALPERN AT LARGE--It's November now. YOU decide.
Intellectual honesty appears to be at an all-time low, and ditto with those calling for a "more civil tone" when those doing the calling are as uncivil as those they decry. You want to protect us against Trump? Fine ... but who's gonna protect us from ourselves?
Eric Garcetti and the leadership of the Planning Department are LIARS. They want to strip all local powers to oppose overdevelopment and neighborhood transformation (for the worse, and not for the better), thereby making the rewriting of Community Plans a joke. Planning will pretty much do whatever the hell they want to do, and that's that.
And if we keep ignoring that, and/or voting for more City Councilmembers who are OK with that, then we're just lying to ourselves.
Jerry Brown is a LIAR. Transportation/gasoline taxes, overall a great idea, are being diverted in very large amounts to the General Fund (think unsustainable pensions and a gazillion different ways of misspending our state money), so voters are in the Hobson's Choice of either cutting off transportation funds or knowing their transportation funds will be hideously misspent.
And if we keep ignoring that and allowing ourselves and our children to be taxed and bonded to death, then we're just lying to ourselves.
Gavin Newsom is a LIAR, and he's lying all about affordable housing and proper planning/transportation and will have the entire state looking like San Francisco. He's refused to reliably debate John Cox (who's committed political malpractice if ever we've seen it, and he's been Newsom's stooge to get Villaraigosa and Travis Allen out of the race to hand it to Newsom).
Newsom has reliably been a liar's liar and will continue to lie about how great things are while ignoring how many of the middle class who can bail out of California are continuing to do just that.
And if we keep ignoring that, presuming you're not already making plans to leave California, and allowing our children to have a worse lifestyle than we've had (watching our own quality of life diminish invariably), then we're just lying to ourselves.
So, go ahead, scream about the Orange Man in the White House. Scream about environmental problems. Scream about worsening homeless crises, worsening affordable housing, worsening education and income inequality, worsening transportation/mobility, etc.
But it's not as if we're spending less on all that, and it's not as if we're unwilling to pay to fix these problems. Yet so long as those screaming "STOP!" to feeding the fire rather than putting it out keep getting demonized and run out of the Golden State...
...we're lying to ourselves.
Or maybe there are enough voters who really are NOT affected by the problems plaguing the struggling middle class, and/or there are enough voters who DON'T see any alternatives to the one-party rule to fixing the problem, and/or there are so many voters who've concluded that voting is a WASTED effort...
...that lying to ourselves is just the one thing that keeps us from going crazy by confronting the gaslighting city, county and state governments who have destroyed the once-Golden State.
(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 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 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.)