THE DOCTOR IS IN - Most of us have very busy lives. Most of us are hanging by our fingernails. Most of us just want more sleep, more resources with which to pay our bills, and less strife in our work and home environments.
So it's no wonder that so many of us really aren't leaping into this election, especially because we're used to the same ol', same ol'.
Let's start with the obvious:
Voting for those judges? Are you kidding me? How are virtually ANY of us qualified to vote for them? Do we know their backgrounds, and the implications for voting in favor for one option or another?
It's kind of like the Board of Equalization? What is that? What does it do? Why should I care?
And the Community College leadership? OK, there are a group being endorsed and running as a team...but how many of us know a doggone thing about who they are and who is best to run the community college near us?
What do I know (and most of us probably know it, too) for certain?
Things are devolving into hyperpartisanship, and it's fascinating as to how one party has chased away (not converted, but CHASED AWAY) so many Republicans, Independents, and moderate Democrats that it's now a one-party system...and yet our City, County, State, and Federal electoral wannabes are screaming about "those awful Republicans"?
Where? Who? What powerful office do they reside in and threaten anyone? Are Republicans in need of being arrested, called out, re-educated, shot on sight, or what?
So WHO exactly are the divisive and hyperpartisan amongst us?
WHO is in power around here?
WHO are the ones we should be screaming about to be replaced?
So, allow me a stab at boiling it down for you, me, and anyone who wants to listen amidst the myriad recommendations. I'm a moderate to conservative physician who's fought for civil rights, transportation, and have gotten many of our past and present leaders elected and have NO problem raising taxes when it's spent well.
Here we go:
1) Vote for any pro-choice initiative or candidate you want...but if you think that we're about ready to have back-alley abortions in this pro-choice state, then you're being tooled by anyone who think this is some Midwest or Southern state that has some heartbeat law or other restrictive anti-abortion law.
Like most of you, I am BOTH pro-choice AND pro-life. In a nutshell, the mother has the say during the first trimester, recognizing it's getting more complicated in the second trimester unless the baby is deformed (definitely pro-choice there), but as a physician I'm confused and troubled by the ethics of terminating the incipient life of an otherwise-healthy child.
Vote for Proposition 1 if you wish, but anyone screaming about "I AM PRO-CHOICE" or wailing on "those evil Republicans" (where? who? which people remain? what threat?) is tooling you.
I even favor flying in girls and women from other states for them to receive abortions otherwise illegal there. No back alley abortions are OK...but even during Roe vs. Wade we didn't allow for third-trimester abortions for fetuses now perfectly capable of having labor induced and put in an incubator. So why the screaming as if we're all suddenly in Mississippi or Alabama?
Safe and accessible abortion...YES. Flying in the face of science and standard ethics, and being TOOLED by political candidates in a state where we're virtually ALL pro-choice...NO.
2) If it involves taxes, vote NO.
I am proud to have actually raised your taxes (and mine, of course) to pay for transportation initiatives that were well-defined. Sometimes taxes are absolutely a MUST.
But taxes on nebulous promises and on priorities we already threw lots of money on?
Like the priorities of education, both K-12 and community colleges, and both on parks and the homeless...and with the evidence of gross misspending and corruption behind the influx of money we so generously granted as long?
You don't throw money at a drug addict and expect that addict to spend it on food, college tuition, and retirement savings.
We just had a huge state surplus. Our government is both well-funded and crooked up to its eyeballs. Maybe the future holds new taxes for us all, but NOT NOW.
Vote NO on new taxes, unless you like things to get worse.
3) Unless you think that the City is doing great, then CHANGE the leadership!
And especially about the state politicians who are as corrupt in Downtown as they were in Sacramento!
You want more Kevin de Leon's and Herb Wesson's?
Then vote for Caruso, and NOT for another politician with NO history of running anything with full executive responsibilities? What kind of socialist Hell do you want us all to live in?
Here's to the following leaders who will OBEY the LAW, PROVIDE SOLUTIONS, and NOT PROMOTE LEFT-WING, EXTREMIST, CORRUPTION/CRIME-PROMOTING POLICIES THAT WE'VE SUFFERED WITH FOR WAY TOO LONG:
Mayor: Rick Caruso
City Attorney: Hydee Feldstein-Soto
Controller: Paul Koretz
CD11 Councilmember: Traci Park
CD5: Sam Yebri
Measures LH, SP, and ULA, and community college tax hikes: NO
God bless you all, don't forget to vote, and be your OWN person when you're voting.
(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.)