It's not unlike politics, which is why I can understand why so many people in Hawaii, especially on Kauai, where the system is so broken, don't vote. Who really does want to wade into that murky muck?
Still, as I picked up the stinking cigarette butt that a fisherman tossed upon the sand just before casting his line, and added it to the plastic drink covers, beer bottles, diapers and other crap I'd picked up on that beautiful beach, I thought, I am so tired of sharing the planet with unconscious, oblivious fucks. And if they're not voting, so much the better.
We don't need more people simply voting. We need more akamai voters. But the campaign literature that arrives unbidden in my mailbox doesn't even attempt to shine light on the issues. Like the full-color glossy flyer from the Democratic Party of Hawaii that has a photo of Lingle and Romney on one side, with the words, The national Republicans: WRONG for Hawaii. Shoots, they couldn't even back that up with one reason? In the same batch of mail was an eight-page faux magazine filled with promotional platitudes about Lingle that was sent out from an Illinois PAC.
So instead of blaming voters for being apathetic, jaded, cynical and disgusted, why not point the finger at politicians who fail to inspire and inform, much less serve the public?
Look, for example, at our own state legislative contingent: Tokioka, Kawakami, Morikawa, Kouchi. Not one of them responded to a Sierra Club inquiry about their position on the Public Land Development Corp. — the most controversial issue to face Hawaii in years. Why? Because they're all told what to think by the House Speaker and Senate President. Our so-called “leaders” are actually sheep.
Which is why there's a pervasive sense that no matter who you elect, the dysfunction, the cronyism, will prevail.
“It doesn't matter,” replied a friend, who follows politics and consistently votes, when I asked him who was going to win the prosecutor's race. He repeated that answer when I queried him about the County Council race, then told me those were the same answers that were given to him when he asked a friend the same questions.
Still, I'm a windmill tilter from way back, as is my friend, and his friend, which is why we all continue to cast our ballots, darkening the ovals alongside the few candidates worthy of a vote, and hoping, in our heart of hearts, that truth, justice and righteousness will prevail — for once, please god, maybe this time.
If you know what the issues are, and what the candidates truly stand for — as opposed to name recognition, ethnicity, party affiliation, familial connections, advertising jingles, etc. — then I urge you to vote, too.
Otherwise, do the thinking voters a favor and stay home.