Preserving a Truer Heritage



Elections are not decided by letters to the editor, but it’s a window into hearts and minds. Lamentably, some express a surprising intolerance for spirited but good-natured pluralism, perhaps our truest heritage.

A varied civic culture is the tapestry into which our town’s character is woven.  Pray we never become a village that covets natural and cultural assets more than we cherish freedom of beliefs and ideas.  There is no charm in an imposed ideological conformity that punishes meaningful differentness.

A truly sustainable quality of life demands social diversity as much as diversity in natural and built surroundings.  Yet, some of us are so sure we know what is best for our town that we want those who don’t agree to go somewhere else.

Thus, a recent manifesto argued that what LB GOP believes is “reasonable” city policy is so perniciously “unreasonable” that Republicans should “leave a forwarding address” and get out of town.  If such vitriol becomes “normal” in Laguna Beach we have something far more precious to lose than quaint old houses, trees and views.

Similarly, in a Sept. 4 letter to the Indy from Jahn Levitt the inference is drawn that City Council candidate Michele Hall is a “Tea Party” sloganeer.  Evoking polarized national politics to attack a local candidate, Levitt admonishes voters to defeat candidate Hall for calling on us to “take back our government,” alleged by nationally prominent Tea Party critics as radical right wing and even racist code words.

Levitt must have missed our vice president’s speech to labor unions on Sept. 1, when Joe Biden shouted “take back our nation!”  So much for guilt-by-association politics in our town.  Levitt’s no-substance, all-emotion attack on Hall was the opposite of the village way of life that brought my grandparents here in 1929.

In contrast, the 2014 LB GOP Platform promotes diversity by expressly imposing no litmus test on candidates.  We will support local candidates in broad agreement with our goals.  As a local party we don’t speak for candidates we endorse, and candidates we endorse do not speak for the LB GOP.

Rather, we endorse candidates committed to restoration of our truest heritage, grounded in our strong tradition of personal responsibility, social tolerance, family rights, and creative enterprise by free people.

Howard Hills, Laguna Beach

The author is president on Laguna Beach Republicans.

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