You’d think I’d learn. I always go into the campaign season with optimism, thinking this time, surely, things will be different, things will change.
Then I see the final printout and it’s clear that on Kauai, it’s gonna be the same old same old all over again.
And so it was this time around, with the Council incumbents getting another go, and Bernard Carvalho — carrying on the dead tired Baptiste legacy — solidly in the number one spot for mayor.
Even having a record 22 candidates in the running, and two puka on the Council to fill, didn’t end up making much difference. It certainly wasn’t enough to nudge someone like Ron Kouchi, making an unbelievable 12th run for Council, out of the action.
So what does it mean, aside from the fact that all the talk about “vote the clowns out” was, yawn, simply that: a bunch of talk?
Maybe it means that people have given up on politics, or just don’t care. After all, Hawaii had a record low voter turnout of about 34.6 percent, so you can’t exactly say that anyone can claim a popular mandate.
Maybe it means voters weren’t always thrilled with their choices. Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho, who was running unopposed for prosector, received 10,052 yes votes — and a whopping 4,505 blank votes.
Maybe it means that people think things are hunky dory just like they are, or that they’re afraid to vote for someone new and different because change, for most folks, is a very scary thing.
In the end, what it really means is that the old guard has always run the show on Kauai and they still do. Expect business as usual, folks.
It’s my nature to be hopeful. As Jimmy Torio said on the radio the other day: “I keep voting and I’m confident that one of these days someone I vote for will get elected.” I guess that’s what keeps me going to the polls, too. And every now and then, I score a small victory with a Mina Morita or a Gary Hooser.
But it’s crystal clear that the revolution will not come through the voting booth. So if it’s real change you be seeking, that ain’t the place to put your time and energy.