The Myth: A Nation Divided is Just That ... a Myth

ALPERN AT LARGE--It's again worthy of repetition--my suggestion that (and it's hardly mine alone) if you want to be a partisan hack, you certainly can be...but you're probably not likely to help anyone. 

There are some who want to blame Republicans and/or Trump for our present conundrum, and there are others who want to blame Democrats and/or Newsom or Cuomo or Pelosi for our present conundrum.  

But the most intellectually honest among us recognize that our worldview was different in December than it was in January and was different in January than it was in March and is different yet again today at the start of May. We were caught up in an impeachment trial, the Coronavirus was far away, and we were told it was just another SARS. 

Then the stories about the Wuhan shutdown happened. Then Italy happened. And then both New York and New Orleans happened. 

And we realized as a nation we knew very little with true certainty, and that lives depended on our prioritizing caution over our economy. 

But today is another day, and the question is not if, but how or when our economy will reopen. 

For those who watch and read both left-wing and right-wing media, it's to be noted that all states appear to be revving up in some way, shape, or form. It's also to be noted that, on average, the more conservative you are the more you want to restart the economy NOW, and the more liberal you are the more you want to wait another few weeks or even a month. 

But that doesn't mean we're too terribly divided as a nation. For example, watching CNN and MSNBC there is increasing material on how we should phase in a resurgent economy. And another example is the funny and different Gutfeld Show on Fox, which is decidedly conservative, but had pretty much all present in favor of the economy reopening...but opposing those without masks clustering in protest, because they were making things worse. 

So here we are: 

1) Breakthrough antibody tests for the COVID-19 are all the rage as we try to figure out who can return to general society, and if recovering from the virus gives you immunity from reinfection. These tests are all being developed in record time. 

2) Similarly, the development of a vaccine (or vaccines) is also being performed in record time. The technology is there, the public will is there, and even the money is there for some sort of preliminary vaccine to come out later this year, and not the 12-18 months previously declared "fast" by public standards and expectations.  

3) Telehealth in all specialties is on the rise, and teleconferencing is likely to explode to become the "new normal" in ways never thought of a year ago. After all, isn't traffic and a slowdown in communications insufferable enough already? 

4) Absolutely NO ONE wants to ever be dependent on China for our basic manufacturing and medications, and similar to that of energy independence from the Middle East, there is a "never again" that is shared by virtually every 
American reading this (if you make a lot of money selling out your American neighbors to create more economic Chinese hegemony over the world, be prepared to lose that money unless you change your tune). 

5) Expect a "Buy American" or "Anywhere But China" purchasing trend in the United States, and its equivalent in Europe and abroad. It's doubtful that the Chinese economy will escape from this pandemic unscathed. 

So, let's not quibble, unless it remains for anyone to cling to the unwanted title of "political hack". Because this nation is united--it's only divided in HOW to reach the common goals of economic independence and a restoration to normalcy in the greatest nation of our Earth.



(CityWatch 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 was (termed out) 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 its MVCC Transportation/Infrastructure Committee and Vice-Chair of its Planning Committee. He was co-chair of the CD11 Transportation Advisory Committee and chaired the nonprofit Transit Coalition and can be reached at Ken.Alpern@MarVista.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.)