Monday, May 15, 2006

Why I’m a Republican

My natural inclination is to be resolutely nonpartisan, but that doesn’t mean that when I recognize a clearly superior candidate, I will think like misguided “politically correct” editorialists, that I shouldn’t make any such discriminations, but should treat all candidates equally as though one was no different than the other -- giving them an equal chance for elected leadership.

But in 2002, just a month before the elections, I thought I’d congratulate Linda Lingle at one of her Talk Story meetings for building up the Republican Party and running for governor again, the former which she said she’d do when I ran into her for the first time, shortly after she moved to Oahu after her narrow defeat in 1998. I expected her to be crestfallen, but quite the contrary, she was excited and enthusiastic with her plans. So I made it a point to avoid being involved in that reclamation project, but inevitably ran into others who had a Linda Lingle encounter, which seemed to be invariably to comment about how “brilliantly competent she was but was way too nice to win the governorship.”

Politically savvy people would insist that in order to rise to the highest office in Hawaii, one had to play the “old boy” game more ruthlessly than the other guy. It was a very cynical period in the history of Hawaii and a sad commentary on the state of politics. Sheer dominance was what people were used to as “leadership,” and the then current governor was proud to warn, “I shall punish my enemies, and reward my friends,” as the ultimate statement of his rule. Hopefully, that was the last of that kind of feudalistic thinking -- that leadership was merely to serve one’s own ends.

That kind of political culture and climate caused a lot of people in Hawaii to despair that politics was something they wanted to be involved in anymore or again. But I had spent 30 years on the Mainland beginning in 1968 -- and missed that rise and fall of Hawaii during those years of boom and then bust. The bust is what drew me back here -- because as the ‘90s unfolded, the depression and despair that are now already forgotten memories, made Hawaii an environment few wanted to be in.

In the span of one term, Linda Lingle as governor, has presided over one of the great turnarounds ever. That’s what very positive leadership can do -- and a “never say quit” personality will do. That’s the reason there are no long lines to take on Linda Lingle for the governorship this time. Everybody recognizes that if it means having to outwork her for the post, she’ll run anybody ragged and into the ground. She’s got an incredible energy level that few people on the planet can match; she’s always on -- sharp, alert, ready to take on the next challenge.

If the fate of mankind rests on the watchfulness and competence of one person, you can’t have a better person “taking care of business,” for the people. As the chief representative of the people of Hawaii, locally, nationally, globally, I’d like people to think we’re all as articulate and brilliant -- just like our leader, who we’re smart enough to elect and re-elect as long as she’s willing to run. I thought the first time she ran that she was way overqualified for the job, but has elevated the office to one of the most respected leaders of anytime and place.

That’s why I’m a Republican; I can tell that difference.

5 Comments:

At May 16, 2006 1:08 AM, Blogger The Amen said...

I asked former Governor Cayetano if your comments about him were true and his response was:

From: Bjcayetano@aol.com View Contact Details Add Mobile Alert
Date: Tue, 16 May 2006 03:13:33 EDT
Subject: Re: Why I'm a Republican (Thinking Hawaii)
To: randolphjamen@yahoo.com

No one is better at rewarding her friends and punishing her enemies than Mr. Hu's idol.

 
At May 16, 2006 1:23 AM, Blogger The Amen said...

So I guess since Governor Cayetano did not deny saying it but simply countered that Linda Lingle does it better than he ever did, then Mike is saying the Democrats like Cayetano did it and Cayetano is saying, "Yeah, and the Republicans even do it better." Which, brings us back to Mike's view. Are the Republicans any better than the Democrats? I like Lingle and Cayetano both and favor Lingle over Cayetano(even though Ben communicates me but Linda does not), but not necessarily Republicans over Democrats. If my history is right Abraham Lincoln, a Republican, had a very mixed cabinet and John Kennedy, a Democrat, also had a mixed cabinet. JFK appointed his old Republican nemesis, Henry Cabot Lodge, to be Ambassador to Vietnam or UN ambassador, before Stevenson, no? I don't recall, but I do think both Lincoln and Kenendy tried to bring the other party into their administrations (Lincon's VP was a unionist Democrat, I believe)and Kennedy's VP (also named "Johnson" was a Southerner). Although Bush seems to surround himself with just Republican ideologues and loyalists, does Lingle? Did Cayetano?

 
At May 16, 2006 9:58 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

Maybe we need to ask Malia Zimmerman (HawaiiReporter.com) the truth of the matter.

Undoubtedly, the fact of the matter is that throughout the '90s, Hawaii was not a place people wanted to be, and now it is the place to be (Hawaii Republican Convention, Waikiki Sheraton, May 26-28, Ph. 593-8180).

I think President Bush doesn't get enough of the credit (mostly from the Democrats) that there was this malaise and fear in the world until he acted decisively, and said we're not putting up with these threats anymore -- and went after them aggressively, rather than just waiting around hoping there would not be a next time.

9/11 pretty much marked the bottom of a decades long descent -- despite the fact that the rest of the country was booming, moving into the 21st century. During that time of despair, the exception was Maui.

There's a reason things happen.

 
At May 17, 2006 6:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lost in the credit card junlgle? Keep your cool and apply online for credit card. A hassle free way to your credit card.

 
At May 17, 2006 11:38 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

Now that the homeless have a safe and secure place to spend the night, maybe the newspapers, schools, universities can open reading rooms and classes so they can look for jobs, and other services during the daytime to solve their other problems.

 

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