Rooted in Reason: Nurturing the Seeds of Liberty


Hawaii Politics: What do we know? by grassroothawaii
June 14, 2010, 2:53 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

By Hideo Hikida

Don’t Google this question; just answer it. Be honest. Do you know who represents you in the State Government?

I was having a drink with a couple of colleagues the other night and the question came up as to who represents us in Hawaii. Everyone these days seems to have an agenda that they want to push upon everyone. Civil Unions, Rail, Taxes, Obama, Healthcare and Wars are just some of the things that people rattle on about over a couple of beers. But when asked who we are represented by in Government, we end up looking like a deer in the headlights, and start busting out our iPhones/Blackberries to google and find the answer.

Who’s your State Senator? If you answered Daniel Akaka or Daniel Inouye….you’re wrong. Carol Fukunaga is my State Senator. (Ahh ok, I googled it a while back) .

I have no idea why this happens but the fact of the matter is, that people are becoming more and more aware about events and policies but still have no idea who votes for them. More and more people are becoming unhappy with State Government; by that extension, more and more people are complaining. We’re allowed to show our distaste in the way our government has been handling things; but it’s also on us to know who to vote for and who represents us. We can’t just go and complain for the sake of complaining, pretending like we know better when we can’t even identify who our representative is.

What’s to blame for this phenomenon? Literacy? Voter Apathy? Who the heck knows?All I know is that civic literacy on democracy is downright sad. Not just in Hawaii but across the Nation as well. Anyone hear about the story of Alvin Greene? The dude pretty much won the Democratic Primary in South Carolina with no campaign, no ads, no public appearances, nothing. Who was he running against? A former legislator, state attorney bigwig who thought that his victory was all but assured. Little did he know that come election day, some unknown, unemployed veteran with no campaign would win the democratic primary.

People, I’m begging you. Take some time to know who represents you. Don’t affiliate yourself to a party just because you think you swing that way. Do some research; get on the internet and figure out where you really stand. All of this civic illiteracy is a two-edged sword. For one, it shows that a good amount of people just simply have no idea who they’re voting for, and who represents them. But on the other hand, you seem to have a 50/50 chance of winning an election because it doesn’t seem like running a campaign is necessary to win.

*Sigh* come on everyone. There’s a big election coming up and a pretty crucial Special Election for a Congressional Seat just concluded. I know that there are more interesting things going on like the World Cup and the NBA Championships but this is our future and our quality of life that is at stake here. I don’t know about you but I want someone who clearly represents my ideas and opinions about how our government should be run. Come election day, I’ll be at the polls, along with some knowledge. You should be at the polls to, but you should also know what you’re doing as well.

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1 Comment so far
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Great post, Hideo! It’s even more frightening that younger people have no clue who represents them or even basic information like how many branches of government we have (and the differences between them.) So it goes way beyond Hawaii. By the same token, just ask who the latest winner of American Idol or what Lady Gaga’s newest hit is and they can answer in a heartbeat. It’s a sad commentary that we all take this wonderful constitutional republic of ours so much for granted!

Comment by giliar




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