THE DOCTOR IS IN - If you're beholden and dogmatic to a political, psychological, or quasi-theological way of thinking, then perhaps this piece isn't for you.
Perhaps you're so darned correct on everything that the concept of constantly questioning your presumptive beliefs is one you hold in disdain (and ditto for the disdain you hold for others you deem not smart enough to draw your same conclusions on a given topic). Then...again...this piece isn't for you.
But while I recommend holding your ground on what you deem is your opinion, it's probably not an intellectual, open-minded, scientific, or brave way of life to presume that "the other side" doesn't have a thing or three for you to consider...or at least ignore to your (and society's) peril.
1) First, the police code of silence, which USA Today calls for "changing the whole system".
Very true--the Derek Chauvin/George Floyd incident could have been avoided, because Chauvin was one very bad actor, and the same Democratic-run cities have had the most police corruption, as of late (Chicago, Baltimore, etc.). And, of course, GOP-run regions with bad cops are hardly any better.
2) The "Defund the Police" and "police are all racist" canards...all false, and most of us damned well know that the number of bad cops is overwhelmingly small compared to the good cops.
And has smacking down the police helped community-based policing and reduced violent crime? Are police departments really that racist (based on unbiased statistics) or opposed to community-based policing?
And isn't the lack of law and order hurting black and brown communities the most? And is the disregard of how regions such as South L.A. and South Chicago are suffering the most perhaps the most racist attitude of all?
3) My favorite topic as of late--the COVID-19 pandemic.
Masking indoors (particularly in winter), getting vaccinated (even with the non-mRNA J & J vaccine, but with boosters), making sure you're washing your hands and other common sense health practices...yes.
Pushing America into a soft lockdown...no.
And is anyone that evil for at least questioning the benefit or constitutionality of mandates--not just recommending good practices, but mandating them, even as Democratic and Republican leaders alike are eschewing mandates ?
4) President Trump was and is deemed to a bragging, gas-lighting, off-putting liar by up to half or more of the nation...but is President Biden any better?
Biden got elected, in large part, because of the pandemic, and did so hiding from the public and with a media that really played a number among Independents (Democrats who vote Democratic-only aren't the issue here).
Saving us from Trump and his mishandling of the COVID-19 virus, and then using the "Operation Warpspeed" vaccines that Trump pushed, and pretty much doing what Trump would have done, anyhow, and now our "savior" Biden saying that the COVID-19 virus can't be fixed at the federal level, but only at the state level ?
Ending American energy independence and exporting fuel to the world prior to his election, and then Biden now approving a Russian/European pipeline and begging OPEC nations to produce more oil?
Cozying up to Iran and ending the Abraham Accords of his predecessor is what America wants?
Jacking up inflation and smashing down small businesses, and a fight to destroy local zoning/housing/environmental laws, and throwing illegal immigration and our southern border into chaos? THAT is what we elected Biden for?
We elected one presumed liar over another presumed liar...so are we really better off as a nation as the same left-wing media and political leadership at CNN and in our cities are collectively shown to be corrupt frauds? Can we at least question whether our chains were yanked by voting for Biden instead of Trump?
5) The abortion conundrum...must we choose between being labeled "pro-life" or "pro-choice"?
With Plan B and modern technology, it's hardly this physician's sole belief (a.k.a., my belief) that first-trimester abortions are less controversial than third-trimester abortions, and that abortions of deformed fetuses are less controversial than abortions of healthy fetuses.
I don't agree with the very restrictive Texas abortion bill, but it really is a darned shame that the previous 20-week bill made more scientific sense, because non-deformed babies are quite likely to survive with each passing week with modern preterm technology.
And is concluding that ALL abortions prevent a potential life that horrible or revolutionary? Is concluding that there are a LOT of parents who would LOVE to adopt babies from birth that horrible or revolutionary a consideration?
There are MANY hot button issues we will have to confront in 2022, and it will be nice to know that a two-party system and TRUE moderate and bipartisan leaders will fight to remain so in our nation.
Budget bills, the obligation to show identification to vote to prevent fraud, cleaning up our voter lists, having REAL reform against congressional and other redistricting...all fair game. And all high time to at least address with the goal of preventing our nation from becoming a one-party dictatorship from Hades.
And that includes addressing either a dangerous right-wing dictatorship or left-wing dictatorship, because either form of dictatorship is pretty awful.
Or is YOUR form of dictatorship better than other extremist's form of dictatorship?
(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 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 Ken.Alpern@MarVista.org. The views expressed in this article are solely those of Dr. Alpern.)