Democrat or Republican Does It Really Matter?

Why should anyone care who gets elected and who doesn’t on November 2?

Peter Townsend of The Who sings “We won’t be fooled again” and then closes with “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss”.

Does it really matter whether it is Abercrombie or Aiona?  Will life change if it’s Djou instead of Hanabusa?

The answer is yes, it does matter.  You see, politics is a team sport.

Duke Aiona and Charles Djou are on the Republican Team; the team of Karl Rove, George Bush, Dick Cheney and Sarah Palin.

Neil Abercrombie and Colleen Hanabusa are on the Democratic Team; the team of Barack Obama, Daniel Inouye, Hillary Clinton and Dennis Kucinich.

Each team has values that are fundamentally different from the other.  Because agendas, budgets and policy are all driven by the principle of “majority rules”, each team essentially “sticks together” and fights against the opposition to retain the “majority position”.  This allows the team that holds the “majority position” to achieve results that support their core values.  While imperfect I suppose, in theory this is how the system works.

While some in the public might believe there is not much difference between the two teams, a reasonably close look says otherwise.

Republicans believe “it’s every man for himself” while Democrats believe, “we are all in this together”.  Republicans believe the “free market” is sacrosanct while Democrats feel compelled to protect against the abuse of the monopoly.  Republicans believe that if you earned it you should keep it – all of it.  Democrats believe that those that earn more should give more.

Depending on your perspective and degree of jaded cynicism – it often seems that both teams are driven more by money than by their core values.  Both teams are essentially elected into office by money and then do their best while in office to “bring the money home” to their district and/or to their particular special interest (defense, education, environment, business etc).  And yes, when it comes to “bringing home the money” sometimes it is difficult to tell the teams apart.

So if it is mostly “all about the money” what difference does it really make?

Because obviously – you want to make sure your team’s special interest gets the money.

If the Democrats win, the money is much more likely to go into health care, education and the environment.  If the Democrats win, the tax structure is more likely to be “graduated” where those at the top of the food chain pay a higher percentage of their income than those in the middle and the bottom.

If the Republicans win, they will continue in their ongoing attempt to, as they like to put it “starve the beast”.  In their zeal to limit the size of government, a classic Republican strategy is to steadily reduce program funding and then watch as vital public services and protections shrivel on the vine.  Republicans in general favor reducing the percentage of income taxes paid by the very rich and large corporations, forcing the middle and lower income levels to carry a larger burden of the cost of core public services.

So yes, it matters which team gets elected.  It matters on issues also of basic social policy.  Democrats believe strongly in the separation of Church and State while celebrating diversity and honoring the civil rights of all. Republicans too often mock and disregard the value of diversity and are increasingly influenced by the theocratic path of the conservative Christian right.  Republicans lean toward a “lock’em up and throw away the key” mentality, viewing the court system as an impediment to justice.  Democrats understand the importance of an independent judiciary and the right of individuals to fair and equal treatment, whatever their social status, their religion, ethnicity or sexual orientation.

Because these ideals are worth fighting for, you want control over the money and you want control over policy.  This is why it is so important for the Democrats’ team to win.

It’s really that simple.

About garyhooser

This blog represents my thoughts as an individual person and does not represent the official position of any organization I may be affiliated with. I presently serve as volunteer President of the Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action (H.A.P.A.) I am the former Vice-Chair of the Democratic Party of Hawaii. In another past life, I was an elected member of the Kauai County Council, a Hawaii State Senator, and Majority Leader, and the Director of Environmental Quality Control for the State of Hawaii - in an even earlier incarnation I was an entrepreneur and small business owner. Yes, I am one of the luckiest guys on the planet. Please visit my website AND sign up for my newsletter (unlike any email newsletter you have ever gotten, of that I am sure) - “Come to the edge.” “We can’t. We’re afraid.” “Come to the edge.” “We can’t. We will fall!” “Come to the edge.” And they came. And he pushed them. And they flew. - Christopher Logue (b.1926)
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5 Responses to Democrat or Republican Does It Really Matter?

  1. Cloudia says:

    You have suffered a political “death” and seem to be emerging as a truth-teller without portfolio. Welcome to the club 🙂

    Aloha from Honolulu

    Comfort Spiral


  2. Scott Goold says:

    Mahalo Senator Hooser for your wisdom!

    We need to be honest — politics is about money. There’s nothing evil about this. It takes money to raise a family, go to college or start a new business. And, American democracy has been the envy of the world for centuries … most watching us today shed tears. To them we have lost our way.

    Democracy — or participatory government — is a wonderful experiment. Sure, at times it seems everyone is shouting at each other. The alternative would be to get our guns out and shoot at each other (or suffer under a dictator).

    When we put our blessed system of government in perspective, we realize there is a kuleana (personal responsibility) associated with being a citizen in America. Let me list just three:

    We must be tolerant of the opinions and positions of others. None of us have “truth.”

    We must recognize democracy generally means not getting exactly what one wants. We must accept compromise.

    We must act civilly in the public arena and toward other participants.

    Since we’re human and politics evokes tremendous passion and emotion, participants from ALL parties have failed to meet these requirements and likely will fail in the future. Don’t give up!

    Everyone is seeking a simple way to explain the differences between the two major parties, and be assured, TEA members are primarily a subset of the Republican conservative right.

    Here is an easy way to distinguish between Democrats and Republicans. Democrats believe in supporting democracy and building America from the ground up. This means ensuring your kids have access to affordable public schools and higher education; protecting clean and safe water supplies, air, food and access to medicine; and, standing up to predatory corporations, unfair business practices, unequal treatment and those who would harm our nation and families.

    Those on the right advocate for policies that start at the top and, in theory, trickle down. They believe greater wealth in the hands of the few, the most wealthy, will lead to new investment and greater opportunities. They claim this will benefit all Americans and the world. While there is merit to these claims, the reality is these strategies have divided America and shrunk the Middle Class while increasing the ranks of the poor.

    Election 2010 will likely be the most important in our life time. Trends are clear. The Middle Class continues to shrink; families across the nation are confused and struggling to survive. Democracy, which depends on a vibrant Middle Class, appears to be faltering.

    In turbulent times, it is your duty to America and freedom to vote! How you vote remains your personal decision but your future depends on you voting wisely …

  3. PaloloHillsider says:

    Mahalo, Senator Hooser, for laying it on the line. Every day I have to scratch my head and wonder how Republicans manage to get so many working people to vote against their own interests.

  4. Scott Goold says:

    Aloha PaloloHillsider ~
    Excellent point! I guess we forget that Republican leaders are key players in business operations, which requires sophisticated marketing. They are experts getting us to “buy” their particular brand of cereal, laundry detergent, phone or car. When they enter the political arena, they use these excellent skills to further nasty propaganda. Posting to David Shapiro’s blog today, I added these comments about their history of deceptive political advertising.

    – Al Gore invented the internet;
    – John McCain had a Black baby out of wedlock;
    – Saddam was part of the 9/11 attacks;
    – Saddam has Weapons of Mass Destruction;
    – John Kerry faked his Vietnam war wounds;
    – Obama is a secret Muslim;
    – Obama wasn’t born the USA;
    – Obama is a SOCIALIST;
    – Federal government spending is out of control;
    – Democrats are running up too much debt;
    – Social Security is broke;
    – TARP was worthless;
    – ARRA did not help Americans;
    – Cutting taxes on the MOST RICH creates jobs for Middle Class workers;
    – etc, etc, etc…

    Republicans win the prize for the most odious PIECES of opala officially issued by the candidates or parties in campaigns over the last DECADE plus.

    While I know many good and decent conservative/Republican people, whom I work with everyday, what has gone on with the Republican Party is both criminal and treasonous.

    Sadly, nobody in power has the cajones to call them on this (outside a couple comedians) – to the detriment of Americans, this nation and the world.

    It appears tomorrow we will again observe the power of Republican deception, lies and distortion of truth: weak-minded lemmings falling prey to the Dark Side like sheep to the slaughter. Wuahahahahaha ….

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