Monday, February 20, 2006

District 21/22/23 Newsletter (Diamond Head-Kakaako, Waikiki-Moiliili/Pawaa)

Our next regular monthly meeting, will be on the 4th Wednesday, February 22, 2006, 6pm, at the Republican Party Headquarters, 725 Kapiolani Blvd.

Many of us are undoubtedly still recovering from the exuberance of the Lincoln Day Dinner, of which the Hawaii Republican Party draws the largest participation of its kind for this observance, of all the states. Attendance was reported at 1,300. Republican National Committee chair Ken Mehlman was the guest speaker -- and the most striking thing about him is how youthful he looks. But that seems to be a creeping evolution of the Republican Party here, as well as nationwide -- that there seems to be an infusion of new faces and new blood into the party -- bringing an enthusiasm and vibrancy not found in political parties that value seniority and the status quo above all else, and the only thing they know to do.

That seems to be the major tenor of difference between the parties these days -- how one seems to be relentlessly moving forward with new ideas and technologies, while the other party, is still hoping for a return to the good ol' days and the good ol' boys, so they can be the leaders once again. If one monitors the political literature of these times, it's usually not a Republican thing to comment very much on what the Democrats are doing -- since they don't seem to be doing much of anything but criticizing the Republicans for wanting to do things.

But the governor and other Republicans say the Dems are at least giving them a hearing now rather than just tuning them out and suppressing them. The newspapers are finding out that tactic doesn't work too well because readers just become former readers and subscribers -- because they are not a government monopoly for which we have no choice but to accept their terms. That's just the sign of the times -- in a world of increasingly greater choices. There's no hope of going back to the good ol' times and the good ol' boys, as though the future held no better choices, except the malaise of pessimism, cynicism and hopelessness.

The change in attitude from four years ago is quite striking in this respect. There is this noticeable sense of greater freedom, choice and change -- that makes all things possible -- not only within the Republican Party, but also, throughout Hawaii. We've gone from the thinking that "nothing is possible," in four short years, to the thinking that "anything is possible," -- and why not Hawaii being leaders at the front, on the cutting edge of developments -- rather than lagging 10-20 years behind the times, being dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century.

I think that change in intellectual, cultural, as well as political climate, is the most important aspect and a true measure of real change -- rather than just shuffling the chairs on the Titanic, as seemed to be the theme of Hawaii in the '90s. How quickly we forget -- that things were that bad, and seemingly hopeless. So this year's high spirits at the Lincoln Day Dinner, was the exclamation point of the New Beginning -- that just promises to keep getting better!

And the Republican tent seems to be getting bigger and absorbing a lot of the elements that are feeling squeezed out of the Democratic Party as they seem to be realizing too late that they're being forced to the margins of society in trying to appease every extremist group and ideology -- and being torn apart by it. Oftentimes, just being on the edge, is not necessarily being on the leading edge -- but simply being out on the ledge, if one cannot make those proper discriminations.

So I highly recommend increasing one's exposure and involvement with the Republican Party because I think it is one of the most exciting affiliations and associations right now. That's where it is happening -- and what is happening in the world right now. As one who largely tracks thinking and intellectual/cultural developments, particularly on the Internet (which includes traditional mass media as well as the emerging alternatives), the sense of being a Republican is much broader than strictly party activity and ideology. It's more about people -- and how they interact and relate with each other as peers, rather than in the old power trips. That is the new political world that the Republicans have been faster to pick up on than the Democrats -- who still largely believe that nothing has changed in the last fifty years, and so they are still the party of the times -- rather than the realization that they are badly out of step with the times and need to refresh their whole portfolio -- if they really want to play a role in the future of leadership in this country.

Otherwise, they're going to be bypassed into irrelevancy because the good ol' days and the good ol' boys are not returning, and everybody else is moving ahead -- with or without them -- because leadership is not just what politicians do anymore. It is what everybody does in the new society -- in whatever they do. Even the modern political party structure is not top-down governance but bottom-up. It takes a while to get used to the concept but it is one whose time has come. The old political parties no longer exist. The Republicans in Hawaii have just been ahead in realizing that -- while the Democrats are wondering where their old coalitions have gone and power base is anymore once there has been a disruption in that continuity of the past.

It was easy when they just ran the previous lieutenant governor for governor; but once that familiar pattern stopped, they didn't have a contingency plan -- except for wishful-thinking.


At February 22, 2006 11:46 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

Unlike most political writing, if I can call it that, I propose no specific solutions but instead merely ask the maximum intelligence in the other to make their best decision -- so that I don’t have to. Otherwise, there is no end to the micromanaging, speculating and second-guessing one can do about the endless things others will try to convince one is so important, and everybody else needs to “weigh in” on.

That is the biggest waste of time in modern society -- that people express a superficial opinion on things they know very little about -- and all they know are other people’s similarly uninformed, shallow opinions. That’s how the “news” works. One guy gets an idea and everybody repeats, and through this repetition, they hope it becomes a widely accepted truth -- that they expect everybody would have forgotten in a few days -- and then they go on to the next topic of the day, ensuring that there is no depth to any of it.

Because if one were to go into anything very deeply, one would be a threat to all that is shallow and superficial -- which is most people’s lives, in which it is enough just to run with the herd. And there are plenty of people who want to do one’s thinking for us -- particularly in the media (newspapers) and in politics. That is all we allowed to see -- each person telling everybody what to think, and what to do -- as if they knew, as though they knew better than anybody else.

What used to be persuasion has now morphed into coercion, bullying, intimidation -- and though one side is allowed to present only the facts, the other side is allowed personal attacks -- and not to see anything else but this kind of tradition in the news and politics, makes one think that is what a healthy dialogue is all about -- rather than the demagoguery it truly is.

That is why what I write seems so strange, peculiar and alien; it is deliberately so -- to cause a moment of pause and thoughtful reflection. People tell me they read it -- so I write them.

At February 23, 2006 12:07 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

There IS intelligent life in the universe.

It just doesn't know that we're here.


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