ALPERN AT LARGE--It is probably the utmost in hypocrisy to suggest that anyone reading this, and/or who writes articles for CityWatch, tone down their passion about the whole Trump and/or Pelosi and/or Schumer and/or Clinton thing. After all, CityWatch readers have a passion for politics and current affairs … otherwise, they wouldn’t be here.
That said, the level of "freak-out" has gone on for over two years now, and many are trying to drag us into yet another two years of screaming and heartburn leading up to the 2020 elections. Complicating things is the sad reality that those decrying the "incivility of the other side" are as guilty of being uncivil as those they decry.
After all, while it's meant to be courageous to be a Never-Trumper, because they proclaim to want to restore decency and unity to our nation, the question can't be avoided as to "who will protect us from the Never-Trumpers"? After all, the marches and chants against Trump are often so filled with expletives and pejoratives about fellow Americans that it's hard to conclude who's more "divisive".
Some of us see the equivalent of a Ku Klux Klansman white hood when they see a "MAGA" hat. Some of us see the call for patriotism and unity in that same hat. In the same vain, some of us see a "Resistance" symbol when they a purple "pussyhat" while others see something entirely destructive and inappropriate.
But what about the idea that it's just a stupid hat?
Now we've got a situation where a Native-American "professional provocateur" marched up to a young man, beating his drum and getting to face to face, while the young man smiled back and said nothing while holding his ground.
This after the young man, part of a pro-life demonstration in Washington, had endured over 30 minutes of verbal abuse and taunts from so-called "black supremacists"? All sorts of celebrities and talk-show hosts saw a meme of a smirk in the young man, and concluded he needed a punch in the face.
Other than the obvious question, which is whether the Native-American drummer should have marched up to the black supremacists (who were adults, and said all sorts of hateful things that no one should hear) to do the brave thing and truly defuse the situation, there's another question to be answered:
"Why should ANYONE deserve a punch in the face when they're not being violent?"
Hate or love the MAGA-hat wearing group of young men, they're not the tiki-torch-carrying crowd in Charlottesville looking for a fight.
So why should these youths, whether we conclude they're misguided or not, undergo what they did at the hands of those who disagreed with their message?
Do people wearing purple pussy-hats "deserve" a punch in the face?
How about the late-night talk-show hosts who've alienated one-third to one-half of America, and with the embarrassingly low approval ratings to boot...do they "deserve" a punch in the face?
After all, I'm pretty sure that a lot of Americans who used to watch late-night talk shows would love to give them a punch in the face (or at least they fantasize about it).
So how many of you reading this still want to give the President, the Speaker of the House, or anyone else in Washington a punch in the face?
But here's a key question, perhaps the most key question, to ponder:
HOW IS YOUR HEALTH?
Is your blood pressure up? Are the relationships with your family members and neighbors all OK...including the ones you refuse to speak to because they're of a different political opinion than your own?
Do you think you're living the American Dream with all this hate bottled up inside of you? Certainly, the passion is a good thing, and we're all encouraged to vote, but is the level of passion healthy?
Do you think that local transportation, affordable housing, rising utility costs and recent teacher strike has much to do with anything going on in Washington? Really?
So, here's a final question: are you/me/we being tooled and fooled here?
Get a life … and save your life!
Because life is too short to create violence when none need ever exist.
(CityWatch Guest Columnist, 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 Outreach Committee, and currently is Co-Chair of both its MVCC Transportation/Infrastructure and Planning Committees. 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.)