Democracy in America: ‘The Bad, the Ugly and the Good?’

By Yahairah Aristy

In 2017, our democracy has been infused with a lack of civility, diplomacy and wisdom. In other words, our democracy is witnessing “the Bad, the Ugly and the Good.” What exactly is “The Bad, the Ugly and the Good?”

It is the title of our next discussion where political pundit Dr. Carl Luna answers these questions and more. He will talk about the state of the Democrats, state of the Republicans, and how we move forward to rebuild a true republic representing all people. Dr. Luna will share his political insight and wisdom on Sept. 6 at the La Mesa-Foothills Democratic Club General Meeting.

Dr. Carl Luna (Photo courtesy LMFDC)

Dr. Luna is known to many as one of the region’s most quotable political pundits. He has been a political analyst for Fox 5 News since October 2013.

He also has been a frequent commentator on politics for local, national and international media, including KPBS radio and television, KGTV News 10, KFMB, KNBC, the CBS’ “This Morning” and “Evening News,” NBC’s “Today Show,” the BBC, the Associated Press, New York Times, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times.

Dr. Luna has been a frequent contributor to the op-ed pages of the San Diego Union Tribune and wrote the UT’s first political weblog from 2003-2007. He has also been a columnist for San Diego CityBeat magazine, which hosted his blog, “Political Lunacy.”

He has been a contributing author to the anthology of presidential biographies, “Public Pillars/Private Lives” and a revised volume on the presidency, “Imperial Presidents: The Rise of Executive Power from Roosevelt to Obama.”

He also wrote “Motherland,” a novel of Russian political intrigue. As a minor footnote to history, a brief written by Dr. Luna formed the closing argument presented to the United States Senate by Presidential Counsel Greg Craig in the impeachment trial of President William Jefferson Clinton.

Luna was instrumental in founding Restoring Respect, a collaborative effort aimed at bringing civility to the political arena. He is the director of The Institute for Civil Civic Engagement, whose projects include sponsoring conferences on political civility while working with local school districts, colleges and universities to promote public dialogue that builds community consensus and resolves problems for the common good. Dr. Luna is a professor at San Diego Mesa College and visiting professor at the University of San Diego.

A graduate from Mira Mesa High School, Luna earned his bachelor’s degree in political science, history and philosophy from the University of San Diego and his Ph.D. in political science from American University in Washington, D.C. before returning to San Diego in 1988.

Meet the new president

Yahairah Aristy (Photo courtesy LMFDC)

LMFDC has a new president. Yahairah Aristy is a Deputy Public Defender in the County of San Diego since 2005.

She earned her Juris Doctorate from Thomas Jefferson School of Law and a Masters in Clinical Psychology from Roosevelt University.

Aristy is bilingual in English and Spanish; an alumna of The Women Campaign School at Yale University; and an active citizen, serving on several boards including the board of the La Mesa-Foothills Democratic Club.

Aristy is a strong advocate for women’s issues and believes in creating opportunities that advance the status of women in the judiciary, politics, and society.

La Mesa-Foothills Democratic Club serves the communities of Allied Gardens, Del Cerro, San Carlos, the College Area, La Mesa, Santee, Mt. Helix, Casa de Oro, and other close-by East County areas.

Meetings take place the first Wednesday of every month starting at 6:30 p.m. at the La Mesa Community Center, 4975 Memorial Drive and are open to everyone. Come join the resistance.

—Yahairah Aristy is president of the La Mesa-Foothills Democratic Club. Reach her at

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