Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Musing: Antidote

Driving in the cold starriness of 5 a.m., mountains lurking darkly in the middle, rumble strips glowing orange along Kuhio Highway, heater turned on to warm rubber slippered feet, hoodie pulled up over chilled ears, punching buttons on the radio to pass the time, I hear the lyrics, “fill me with your poison, I want to be a victim.”

Really? Are you sure? Because the politicians, you know, they're happy to oblige, what with Iowa holding the first caucus of the 2012 Presidential election today, thus launching us into the vapid, ugly orgy of a campaign season that lasts longer and costs the corporations more than ever, but still leaves we the people with the same result in the end: disappointment, disillusionment, discouragement, dismay. Take, for example, this story from the Los Angeles Times, which has Newt Gingrich calling Mitt Romney a liar:

"He's not telling the American people the truth."

Who on the national stage is? Besides maybe Rep. Dennis Kucinich? Who Rick Santorum likened to Rep. Ron Paul, which is a point in Paul's favor, though he still needs many more to rise above zero.

Which brings to mind a comment in an email sent by a Hawaiian national:

Many gun owners are afraid that with Ron Paul as President the Federal Government will come and take your guns away. Without Ron Paul as President the Federal Government will still come but take you away....!

Yeah, Obama, that old sell-out, overrode his own reservations and signed the National Defense Authorization Act, which allows indefinite detention to be codified into law and means even the guys cleared for release will remain indefinitely in Guantanamo. Remember how he promised to close that horrid place?

I never really expected much from Obama; indeed, as I wrote back on Jan, 20, 2009:

Shoots, I’d be happy if he could merely live up to this part of his inauguration speech:

What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them -- that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works -- whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to account -- to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day -- because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.

Need I say more?

Moving into the local realm, where your vote might actually make a teeny, tiny difference, The Garden Island ran a piece that had four Councilmembers and the mayor reflecting on their achievements and frustrations in the past year.

Perhaps a more useful exercise would have been to pose that question to the voters. That way we couldn't have to read Councilwoman JoAnn Yukimura talking about “respect” even as she takes yet another swipe at former County Clerk Peter Nakamura's former pay raise, or Mayor Bernard Carvalho waxing enthusiastic about his Holoholo 2020 vision while downplaying the languishing landfill and adolescent drug treatment center or Councilman Dickie Chang uttering such implausibilities as “other islands and the Mainland now look to see how things are done on Kaua‘i.” Oh, wait, that was a different story.

But enough of all that nonsense. A red ball is rising out of a pink mist and the birds are singing and the dew is sparkling. Nature: free outside your door daily; the antidote to politics.


Anonymous said...

Humm, four council members, Joan, not three.

Joan Conrow said...

I stand corrected.

Andrew Cooper said...

Oh we look, with horrified fascination. It makes the otherwise ugly Big Island politics look downright good in comparison.