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Elections: Negative View of Political Future

November 24, 1994

The day after the elections I realized that I hadn't mentioned voting day or the campaigns even once to my young students. At first I was horrified at my omission, wondering how I could have forgotten this very important topic so easily and completely. I searched my soul and discovered that my revulsion at what we had just been witnessing for the past weeks and months might have had something to do with my mental lapse.

It seems that we have, as a society, finally sunk to our lowest depths. Our candidates demonstrated the worst in the human spirit, mindlessly and ruthlessly snarling at each other, mad with the lust for power. Their only apparent thought was to shred their opponents, not to build a better life for everyone.

Locally, we have a microcosm of the ills of government. In Rancho Palos Verdes, the politicians have been busy turning their side of the peninsula into another version of Beverly Hills, stripping the community of any hope of a beautiful riding and hiking trail system. So much for keeping the historical memory of the old Rancho days alive.

In Rolling Hills Estates, the politicians have been busy as well. Our street has a potentially hazardous and unhealthy situation that the majority of the council has ignored for years. The one person on the council who wanted to help us residents was thrown off our committee and replaced with people who will do anything to defeat justice in our case.

I have been cloistered in the classroom too long. I truly used to believe that civic government was formed to help protect public health and safety, among other things. To further complicate our misery, this same champion of our well-being was repeatedly denied the opportunity to serve as mayor. As mayor, our representative would have automatically served on the board of the agency that could have effected a cure, but was denied that opportunity for obviously political reasons.

I wish I could say better political times will come, but I don't believe they will. No great leaders are on the horizon, and with our lack of commitment to even educate our children, we have no reason to believe we can nurture one.

BARBARA EPSTEIN

Rolling Hills Estates

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