Is the CA Democratic Party Your Favorite Sports Team, or Just a Political Party?

THE DOCTOR IS IN - For the record, I'm a "country over party" kind of guy. I may have an "R" behind my name as my political affiliation, but it's not my religion (I'm Jewish, not Republican...because parties aren't supposed to be religions). 

And my political party is not my favorite sports team, either--I've worked my tail off to get more Democrats elected than ever I even tried to do for local, state, or national Republican races. The sports teams I've always followed were the Laker and Dodgers--at least THEY have an official salary cap! 

My political party is not my profession (I'm a dermatologist, and I overbook and help keep people out of the emergency room regardless of their political party, race, health plan, medical group, etc.). 

My political party is not what does my thinking for me, or speaks for me when it comes to controversial issues like abortion (I'm pro-choice AND pro-life, depending on the trimester and circumstances--as morality and science dictates) and the environment (manmade local and global impacts ranging from climate change to pollution is REAL, but we're tackling them all WRONG). 

Thus, I am both annoyed and yet unsurprised by the "Los Angeles Democratic Team" mailer I just got for these upcoming elections. Lots of mailers, lots of B.S., and probably lots of confusion (and information overload) from the myriad, arcane, and conflicting messages thrown at burnt-out, stressed-out, and tapped-out voters. 

(And let's dispense with the usual tripe about "Republicans are just as bad" because maybe or not they're just that in Alabama or Mississippi, but we're in a California that's shoved and still shoving as many Republicans, Independents, and JFK-Democrats out the door as fast its group thinking leadership possibly can) 

Hmmm...so lemme see...what's on this mailer? 

1) For starters, we've got Karen Bass recommended for L.A. Mayor? You mean THAT Karen Bass from Sacramento, from whence Antonio Villaraigosa, Kevin DeLeon, Gil Cedillo, Mark Ridley-Thomas, Herb Wesson, and so many other lovelies have come to semi-retire on the city taxpayers' dime and oversee the downfall of the City of the Angels? 

THAT Karen Bass who's as left wing as they come, has a political history so steeped in socialism so as to make anyone over 40 wonder how she ever got this far in politics?  

THAT Karen Bass who's as unlikely to balance toughness with innovation to fix our city's economic, homeless, affordable housing, and environmental crises, because she'll be in the pocket of so many special interests? 

THAT Karen Bass, who really doesn't appear to have a plan for pretty much anything? 

But she's part of the L.A. Democratic Team, and we need to focus on her ethnicity and gender (like we did with Nury Martinez), right? So...go Blue! Democratic Party Blue, that is!

2) Then we've got YES on Proposition 1...because abortion is about ready to be outlawed here? Wow, I guess the Religious Right owns the Golden State more than I realized, because I thought that the hype and clamor about the end of Roe vs. Wade is just virtue-signaling which won't change a damned thing in a California that's overwhelmingly for abortion rights. 

For the record, I have and counsel patients on teratogenic/birth defect-causing medications and have advocated for many different forms of birth control and Plan B to be free and accessible to anyone (with school and pharmacy education, of course). Rights and responsibilities belong to the teenagers and adults in our civilized world. 

I also don't see how first-trimester abortions, second-trimester abortions for fetuses diagnosed with severe birth defects, and yet ALSO third-trimester abortions for healthy fetuses that could survive in incubators are all being conflated as the same thing... 

...because every pro-choice doctor I know of kinda agrees that this isn't 1950 or 1960, and how many clinical scenarios aren't manageable by monitoring and medical intervention for a mother and her soon-to-be-delivered quasi-full-term healthy child? Back-alley abortions in California...really? 

But HEY, let's hype up the base with an army of straw-man arguments to convince women that they're so very close to the ridiculously-restrictive "heartbeat" laws in other states (which I fervently oppose as much as I do third-trimester abortions that make no medical sense).  

I mean, we can't have a sports team without the right cheerleading! 

3) Yes on Proposition 30--because we're spending money for the environment and wildfire prevention SO...DARNED...WELL? 

I mean, GIMME MORE of that great California cost-effective use of taxpayer dollars, and while I don't make anywhere near $2 million a year, I thought we just had a rebate that Sacramento arbitrarily doled out to certain taxpayers.  

You mean...we shouldn't have spent that money on the environment and infrastructure, despite the fact that we already had it? Who KNEW? 

4) Yes on Proposition 28--because we're spending K-12 money on great things to boost up our children's test scores and innate talents right now, and we need more? Because we've not ALREADY had gazillions of initiatives to ensure money for the arts and music? 

My two kids love/loved, do/did and spend/spent all kinds of time and effort in their music, band, and orchestra clubs and classes in the public school system. But a "cynic" would wonder if more money officially thrown at arts and music would enable our nontransparent public schools to pull MORE money AWAY from arts and music that it already should be assigning to those important endeavors. 

But no cynicism allowed here! It's the L.A. Demo-Dodgers, or L.A. Demo-Lakers, or L.A. Demo-Rams, or whatever we're supposed to root for! We've got to win a championship or title or gold medal or something like that, right? 


And it's a party! A sports team victory! A victory against "The Man" (whoever that person is)! 

Because Los Angeles is led by such a great group of lovelies--both at the City and County level. 

Because we're spending money on our environment, our schools, our infrastructure, our homelessness problem, and our public health problems with such a sterling track record. 

And because we now need yet another new team of Los Angeles Democrats to rescue us from those who misrepresented us in the past 10-20 years (who, I guess were "wrong" Democrats because Republicans and Independents have been disempowered for over a generation?). 

But let's give credit to those who will vote back in the "same ol', same ol'" despite complaining again and again and again about our current state of affairs: 

The City, County, and State might be going to hell in a handbasket, but at least the voting base that keeps returning those who caused the problems back to power, and to cause more of those same problems, are pretty loyal to their Party/Sports Team no matter WHAT their track record. 

Pretty impressive, ain't it! 


(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 to a wonderful wife and father to two cherished children. He was termed out of the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC) twice after two stints as a Board member for 9, years and is also a Board member of the Westside Village Homeowners Association. He previously co-chaired the MVCC Outreach, Planning, and Transportation/Infrastructure Committees for 10 years. He was previously co-chair of the CD11 Transportation Advisory Committee, the grassroots Friends of the Green Line (which focused on a Green Line/LAX connection), and the nonprofit Transit Coalition His latest project is his fictional online book entitled The Unforgotten Tales of Middle-Earth and can be reached at [email protected]. The views expressed in this article are solely those of Dr. Alpern.)