Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Politics of Hatred and Fear Mongering Alive and Well - Young Democrats Must Rebuke

by Lee Weissmann, SFVYD Editorial Director

The Politics of deception, fear, and dishonesty are alive and present this week as Congress approaches a crossroads in the healthcare debate. The same politics can be witnessed in the final weekend of a local election as it enters it’s final weekend. Now more than ever Democrats, especially Young Democrats, should lead the way by fighting for our values including healthcare, education and more. Avoiding distraction and focusing on policy goals is the key to Democratic Success.

I recently attended a Truman Award Reception in Orange County and was dismayed to see signs saying “ObamaCare” and “Pelosism” with hammer and sickles as I arrived at the event outside. Speaker Pelosi was keynoting and demonstrators who hid behind the First Amendment attempted to characterize the President and Speaker of the House as Socialists because of their desire to include a public option for health insurance of all Americans.

We live an era of Limbaughism, O’Reillyism and Hannityism, that preys upon people with rhetoric disguised as factual information. Sean Hannity was recently caught distorting facts by substituting file footage on his Fox News show. The hysteria or what is truly pseudo, manufactured hysteria that is created by radical groups has perpetuated divisiveness. The reason why I believe it’s manufactured is because everyday Americans are truly most concerned with more fundamental things like having healthcare, buying presents for their loved ones this holiday season and holding down their job in the face of many tragic stories of job losses.

However, the politics of distortion is not just a Democrat versus Repbulican phemenon. Saddest of all this is a phenomenon that all too often takes place among Demorcats in primaries and run-offs. I was recently disappointed to see a “hit” piece composed that targeted SFVYD Endorsed Council District 2 Candidate Paul Krekorian accusing him of “Anti-Semitism”. This accusation could not be further from the truth as he was endorsed by SFVYD.

The 2008 Presidential Election of President Barack Obama was a referendum on the direction of our nation and on destructionist politics that was pervasive in our country. Personally, I am so disappointed to see these kind of tactics conducted often times by desperate candidates and advocates. Although because of the dominant Democratic culture that is Los Angeles politics it is easy to see how this happens. In many Democratic elections picking a candidate is akin to picking which one relative you want to give a holiday gift to. It is difficult. Inevitably you risk alienation of others whom you do not support within your own party. However, this realization often lends itself to brutal politicking that is akin to a schoolyard fistfight by fighters seeking attention. Everyone stands around and watches to see who’ll land the biggest punch.

In an ideal world we have debates where candidates hash out the issues for voters, like endorsement meetings for an example. In a perfect world we will find nuanced solutions after exhaustive debate, no matter if it’s on the policy level or within the context of elections.

The real question at this point is where do we go from here? Only time will tell what happens. Ultimately, the way people conduct themselves within the context of the campaign comes down to their own decision-making.

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