Danny De Gracia: Vote For Moderates And Move Hawaii Closer To The Sane Center - Honolulu Civil Beat

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About the Author

Danny de Gracia

Danny de Gracia is a resident of Waipahu, a political scientist and an ordained minister. Opinions are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Civil Beat's views. You can reach him by email at dgracia@civilbeat.org or follow him on Twitter at @ddg2cb.

Opinion article badgeHawaii general election ballots are scheduled to arrive this week in voters’ mailboxes. After a bitterly contentious primary campaign season, the ramp-up to the final November election has been relatively muted, but the stakes are no less important for our future.

To quote a line from my all-time favorite film, “The Top Gun trophy’s still up for grabs, so every point counts.”

While I wish I could say that this upcoming election will be a walk in the park, Hawaii seems to have a problem when it comes to choosing balanced people to lead and manage our state. I and many others have said this so many times in so many prior elections, but you guys really need to vote for good candidates for office so we can fix things.

Yeah, yeah, I know, you’re about to send me another email telling me “But Danny, the choices that we have are terrible” or “The real enemy of the people is the establishment media, who suppresses discussion and good candidates.” Those are all the excuses of people who need to take a remedial lesson in high school civics.

For one, political parties are made of people who vote, so if the primary election screening process is appealing to extreme or wacky voters who want low-quality candidates that parrot a word salad of national soundbytes, that reflects less on the candidates and more on the voters.

If you don’t like the local Democratic or Republican parties, then get your friends, neighbors, and coworkers to sign up as party members, and hijack their leadership and platforms at the next state or county convention to shape them as you see fit.

Maui County residents wait in line to vote on Aug. 13. Marina Riker/Civil Beat/2022

Imagine what would happen if a Republican registered 20 of their friends and their friends each registered 20 of their friends for the Democratic party – or vice versa – what would happen to either organization. We also have open primaries in Hawaii, so there is nothing stopping you from sticking your hand into the opposing party’s election to impact the outcome.

As for the purportedly evil media, news is driven by the interests of the population, so if you prefer hype media, well, good night and good luck because you will get exactly what you demand. News has become entertainment in America precisely because Americans these days would rather be stimulated than educated, so once more, the problem is right in the mirror.

MSNBC or Fox News can’t make me hate or like someone without my permission. Truth and lies are all around us, but the responsibility to make the right choices is something adults are entrusted with. I don’t say these things to insult you, but to shock all of you into recognizing that you and I are stakeholders and shareholders in Hawaii’s democracy and what we do or don’t do impacts the quality of the social compact we live in.

So now that we’ve eliminated all excuses for failure – after all, the only time you worry about a voter is when he or she doesn’t complain – we need to tackle the important task of the general election. And I am going to propose a very radical solution to solving our state’s imbalances: Vote for the moderate on your ballot, whoever that may be.

Moving Hawaii To The Center

Winston Churchill used to joke, “There are two kinds of problem drinkers; those who drink too much, and those who drink too little.” When I look at Hawaii, that is, allegorically, precisely the problem we have in politics. We have become too inflexible at either end of the political spectrum and we’ve lost sight of the fact that having a functional, competent government transcends partisanship.

I don’t care what your party affiliation is, or whether you are a conservative, liberal, progressive, independent or anything else. So you may have voted for hardliners in the past, but now I am asking you to identify and vote for a moderate, at least, as many as you can find on your ballot.

And one more thing: Stop mentioning the names of nutty candidates, stop repeating the controversial things hateful candidates say, and for God’s sake, stop giving attention to chronically flip-flopping candidates who do shallow publicity stunts. The sooner we all do that, the sooner you’ll get a tamer political process and a better government.

You can do this, Hawaii. This general election is up to you.

In this election we need to pull Hawaii away from the fringes and move back to the center so that we can again have a balanced approach to governance that considers everyone’s interests and doesn’t put ideology so high that we’re turning off the lights and denying people things they want.

Former President Bill Clinton gave an interesting interview last month on CNN in which he talked about how during the 90s his key to electoral success among independents was not threatening voters. There’s a lesson to be learned from that. We need to look for candidates that shun the “I’m gonna force this on you, because it’s good for you” mentality and embrace the “this is what we can work on, together” approach to policymaking.

There is something seriously wrong when our state and social compact are unable to progress or meet the needs of people because we place ideology and partisanship above humanity. Men have personalities, but societies must have balance, and the only way we can get balance is to put as many moderates in office in 2022 as possible.

You can do this, Hawaii. This general election is up to you.


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About the Author

Danny de Gracia

Danny de Gracia is a resident of Waipahu, a political scientist and an ordained minister. Opinions are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Civil Beat's views. You can reach him by email at dgracia@civilbeat.org or follow him on Twitter at @ddg2cb.


Latest Comments (0)

Whoa! Talk about insulting. The Dems in Hawaii are mostly pro-business moderates. Nationally too. Biden, not Sanders is President. Meanwhile it's R's who want to install Trump as emperor, outlaw health care decisions, etc. Author needs to look in the mirror.

TannedTom · 1 month ago

You got that right, MSNBC covers the truth while Fox covers the lies. Fox admits that it is not a news channel, it is a entertainment Channel and it is being sued in court for proclaiming that it tells the news truthfully.

Scotty_Poppins · 1 month ago

IMO it seems like the author is using ʻmoderateʻ as a proxy for flexibility and objectivity and ability/desire to negotiate. Iʻd like to see the evidence for that.

rdebby · 1 month ago

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