To all the complainers out there who moan and groan about politics and politicians, I say shut the front door or get involved and do something about it.
Let’s face facts. The majority rules.
Whether it is the County Council, the State Legislature or the U.S. Congress – the majority of elected office-holders drive the agenda, and a majority of voters elect those office-holders.
In Hawaii, a majority of the population stays home on election day. Consequently, in our community, a minority actually elect those who represent the majority. Go figure.
So to the dis-affected, dis-enfranchised and dis-connected who do not believe in the system and therefore do not vote – YOURS IS A SELF FULL-FILLING PROPHECY. If you voted, perhaps things would be different. If you actually got involved in the system and in the democracy that is in power and controls our government – Perhaps your issues and priorities would be addressed. But no, you prefer instead to stay home, complain, criticize and throw stones at those who are trying to work within the system to make our community a better place.
You have two choices. Join in making our democracy a better one that puts people and the planet first, or drop out and see your predictions of a deteriorating world come true. If you choose to drop out, please do so quietly – we do not need the passive-aggressive behavior of those who claim to be revolutionaries but who never leave their couch.
As you can see, I am over it. While my wife would say that I am in it, I will tell you here and now that I am over it. We, collectively have the power to elect people locally at the State and County level, that could make Hawaii a model for the world. We could have a government that actually puts the protection of our natural resources at the top of the agenda, and takes bold action to rectify the existing criminal imbalance between the top 1% and the vast majority of low income working people.
Yes, we could do this and more – if only people would participate. Please, register to vote today at OLVR.HAWAII.GOV
I would be lying if I said all you had to do was vote, and voila the world would be a better place. With the benefits of citizenship comes a civic duty to vote and to pay attention to the issues, offer testimony on occasion and communicate at least occasionally with those you elect to serve in public office. Yes, I understand you are busy and life is complicated, but if you want your community and our world to be a better place – you must make the time.
Before I conclude, there is one more important fact that also must be confronted.
The complainer’s rail that the only choices we have at the ballot box are the “same ole, same ole”- and to a great extent they are right on this point.
Voting only works if we have someone to vote for.
Too many incumbent office-holders have become complacent in their roles and view minimal incremental change as sufficient to justify their existence. Too many are too fearful of challenging the corporate power elite at the expense of grass-roots working people and our natural environment.
Our world is literally burning, and nearly half of Hawaii’s people wake up every morning facing the stress that comes with being one paycheck away from homelessness.
We need candidates who are willing, able, and brave enough to make the bold choices needed to move us forward. Hawaii desperately needs new leadership who will champion the protection of our public trust resources and who will fight to ensure that all workers earn a living wage.
Timid incremental baby steps will not get us where we need to be.
There are 11 months remaining until the Primary Election. In Hawai’i, because we are essentially a one-party state, the Primary Election is everything.
The time is now for new candidates to step up and declare their candidacy.
New candidates must step up now to organize their team, assemble their materials and begin that all-important task of door-to-door canvassing. Having run in 10 different political campaigns over the years myself, I know and understand the hesitancy and sometimes self-doubt that every new candidate “jumping in” to a race faces.
There are many out there who are electable and who have the qualifications and attributes of leadership, but who for whatever reason are fearful of taking the step. In my work as a volunteer with the Kuleana Academy (a nonpartisan, political and civic leadership training program), I discuss this topic regularly with individuals across the archipelago. I would be pleased to have a discussion with any aspiring candidates, for any office, on any island, regardless of political party affiliation.
I ask, if not you who? If running for office is definitely not for you – then find someone you can support and who shares your values – and then help them.
In any case, it is crunch time for the 2020 elections. My rant is over. Suffice it to say, for it to work properly we need all to participate in our democracy.
It is the only system we have and the stakes are high.