There are many in our society–particularly those who’ve come to the conclusion they’re smarter than the rest of us–who rejoice in one-party rule. They therefore must delight in our current state of our Golden State, because it’s simple to determine who does and doesn’t belong in our government. After all, why be “Rational, Tough and Bold” when it’s so much easier to be clever and emphasize that You Care”!
So now that our state enjoys a one-party rule that is more “democratic” than ever, it has the distinct advantage of a more streamlined approach to achieving power in the following five ways:
1) No one to complain about crippling businesses and the local economy:
The Koch Brothers are a gift that must keep on giving. Without any prominent elected Republicans to blame on everything from our reduced quality of life to tooth decay, these two mysterious individuals are conveniently in the desired role to get folks angry about things without having to pay attention to who has actually been running major cities like Los Angeles into the ground.
After all, the concerns that handed former governor Arnold Schwarzeneggar’s first major defeat–the slew of propositions that would have addressed pension reform, budget reform, teacher tenure rules and other issues that would have kept our state on an even economic keel–were thrown asunder by the public sector unions who now OWN this state.
Kind of like having the overwhelming thrust of written, television and Internet media on your side in the most blatant of ways, and then hunt down the distinct minority of media outlets who support the other side and brand THEIR followers as crazy, partisan and bigoted.
So how awesome is it that the focus can be on the recent Supreme Court rulings (Citizens United, McCutcheon) allowing more corporate money into politics…instead of the current dominance of public sector union and corporate money that ALREADY encourages politicians to ignore their constituents and go where the money is?
2) No one to oppose class warfare or stop you when you claim people can’t be successful on their own:
What an awesome circle of tactics our leaders now enjoy! Create an economic environment that favors the upper 1%–and which trashes the future of the middle- and lower-socioeconomic classes–and then blame the OTHER side for the 1% which is both siphoning off the financial largesse of the greater populace and is of YOUR creation!
And if issues arise where your political party has operatives that are connected to both Hollywood and the White House pull federal anti-poverty funds away from impoverished South Los Angeles to more politically-rewarded portions of the City of Los Angeles …then…blame the Koch brothers!
After all, when your one-party system has created an environment where South Los Angeles residents would rather collectively swallow a bag of broken glass than have a legitimate two-party system, why worry about them?
And when individuals and generations of families can’t find full-time jobs to keep them fully-employed and financially-independent, then they HAVE to turn to the politically-empowered for food, shelter and feel-good programs to make them feel represented…rather than merely OWNED.
A wicked-good way to stay in charge, right? Certainly more profitable and successful than to encourage and rally behind those who come behind from adversity to achieve financial independence!
3) No one to oppose state-sanctioned race-obsessiveness, or inquire what that means and entails:
The emphasis that “you’re a victim, you can’t do it because the cards are stacked against you, so let’s get back at the racist monsters who’ve kept you down” is a first-rate message and strategy to bypass any concerns of hidden messages and implications…like suggesting that some ethnic groups are too stupid and ill-equipped to do it on their own, or that those ethnic groups who are succeeding actually did it on their own.
Take affirmative action, for example–there are many first-rate black and Latino leaders who are brilliant, hard-working, innovative and charismatic leaders. But rather than cherish the success stories of those who’ve come from behind to succeed and achieve the American Dream, it’s a more tasty nectar to cherish and consume when one perpetually presumes there will be an ever-present group of ethnic losers.
Rather than focus, however, on those Asians in our state and in our country who are climbing up the socioeconomic ladder despite overt racism during their own lifetime–like Japanese-Americans moving from concentration camps to being our local gardeners to being our society’s leading professionals–it’s more convenient to attack Asians when they question the fairness of affirmative action.
Sort of like the way that moderate Ted Lieu, the inspired protégé of the late Mike Gordon, who has certainly fought for the average Californian in so many ways but has been attacked because he had the temerity to back off from supporting affirmative action. Blame him, and blame the Koch Brothers, and blame everyone but those doing the blaming. Awesome!
So if we even try to come up with a balanced immigration reform measure proposed by Republican Jeff Denham that encourages military or other service to ensure illegal immigrants a tough but likely measure to encourage them to be part of our American mainstream, it’s not problem-solving, but racism…right?
4) No one to remind children that you’re rewriting history and telling them a story that just isn’t true:
Why bother to raise the issue of Republicans, conservative Independents and moderate Democrats throwing up their hands in despair and leaving the Golden State (with their money and assets, to boot) and changing the political electorate when you can just claim that there are more Democrats because…well…they’re just the better party?
Why bother to compare the economic history of California when it was a red state with our current status of being the bluest of blue states? Furthermore, why bother to compare our current economic status with red states like Texas, which is pulling all sorts of employers and job creators to locations where they can better enjoy the profits of their blood, sweat and tears?
Why bother to call a group of people (and their enabling employers and paid-off politicians) “illegal immigrants” when we can call them “undocumented immigrants” despite the fact that they knowingly broke the law? And those who ask for fair representation of legal immigrants and native-born Californians…probably racists who should be demonized and put in their place!
Why bother to raise the issues of balanced oil/gas industries versus the newer solar industries when one can just decry and demonize the former as just Big Oil while ignoring the unequal profiteering of Big Solar…and heavens forbid we should focus on states like North Dakota which is enjoying an oil boom! After all, that’s a Red State, so they’re probably racists who HATE the environment!
And why bother to ever raise the public sector pension crisis issue that will bankrupt future generations when it’s easier to just tell children that those raising that issue are probably just fascists who HATE police officers, firefighters and teachers?
5) No one to stop you when you break the law:
If the California High Speed Rail keeps getting knocked down in the courts because it’s violating both the language and spirit of the measure that the voters approved, it’s not law-breaking, it’s lack of vision…right?
If we trash our environmental rules to allow developers, chambers of commerce and construction unions to break the law and shred our economy, mobility and quality of life to pieces, it’s not law-breaking, it’s obstructionism…right?
If three state senators of the ruling class–er, political party–get nailed for knowingly break the law, it’s not law-breaking, it’s the fault of big money (as in the Koch Brothers and the Supreme Court)…right?
And that really is the wonderful advantages of a one-party state–it’s worked wonderfully well in other parts of the world, and even in our own country–because separation of powers and all that is an obnoxious inconvenience for those too smart or clever to have to listen to the rest of us.
There’s also, of course, one other, final advantage of being in charge of a one-party state:
NEVER HAVING TO SAY YOU’RE SORRY, BECAUSE THAT’S FOR THE “OTHER PARTY”, RIGHT?
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About the Author: Ken Alpern is a Westside Village Zone Director and Boardmember of the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC, previously co-chaired its Planning and Outreach Committees, and currently is Co-Chair of its MVCC Transportation/Infrastructure Committee. He is co-chair of the CD11 Transportation Advisory Committee and chairs the nonprofit Transit Coalition, and can be reached at Alpern@MarVista.org. He also does regular commentary on the Mark Isler Radio Show on AM 870, co-chairs the grassroots Friends of the Green Line at www.fogl.us. The views expressed in this article are solely those of Mr. Alpern. This article originally appeared in Los Angeles City Watch and is republished here with permission.