Vicky Cayetano: This Election Is About What We Have To Lose - Honolulu Civil Beat

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About the Author

Vicky Cayetano

Vicky Cayetano is a longtime businesswoman, philanthropist, former First Lady and recent gubernatorial candidate. She is active in the community, advocating for small businesses, animal welfare, supporting the arts and other aspects of our community. Opinions are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Civil Beat’s views.


Today, we will elect a new governor, state senators and representatives along with three of our four congressional representatives. But this election is not only about who we elect as our future leaders at the national, state and county levels.

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It is also about our integrity as voters and as a country. It is about whether we truly value democracy in our country or whether we believe that electing the candidate or candidates who we support is more important and taking any action necessary to do that, justifies the means.

Ranting about voter fraud and self-proclaimed vigilantes monitoring drop-off ballot boxes who take photos of voters exercising their right to vote are all part of a strategy to question the outcome of elections if their candidate loses the race. I wonder if these strategies would be employed if their designated candidate wins the election.

Look, I get it; there are few things more disappointing than losing an election. As a candidate, the realization that you are not the one the people elected can be crushing. Especially after you have been campaigning for months or for some candidates, years. After you have been to what seems like an endless cycle of meet and greets, downed countless malasadas and coffee and shaken every hand till your fingers start to feel numb. What could be more of a let down?

In spite of how disappointed and upset we may feel when we or our candidate/candidates lose, we need to pause and think about what has taken place. This is democracy in action. This is what our country is all about. This is what our men and women in the military spilled their blood for in wars fought by our country. This is what our leaders pledge to do in their oath “to uphold and defend the constitution of the United States of America.”

As an immigrant from the Philippines, a country that was under martial law for 14 years, I believe we should never take the freedoms we enjoy in this country for granted. Like anything that we cherish, we must work to protect and preserve it if we want to ensure that future generations will continue to have this right.

Think of how many people live in countries around the world where they can say that elections are conducted freely. Millions of individuals live in places where elections are decided not by people like you and me but by autocratic leaders or dictators.

FILE - Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and her husband, Paul Pelosi, arrive at the State Department for the Kennedy Center Honors State Department Dinner, on Dec. 7, 2019, in Washington. On Friday, Oct. 28, 2022, a man broke into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s California home and severely beat her husband, Paul Pelosi, with a hammer. The 82-year-old underwent surgery to repair a skull fracture and serious injuries to his right arm and hands, and his doctors expect a full recovery, the speaker’s office said Friday. There were no updates on his condition Saturday. (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf, File)
House Spaker Nancy Pelosi and her husband, Paul Pelosi, arrive at the State Department for the Kennedy Center Honors State Department Dinner, on Dec. 7, 2019, in Washington. On Oct. 28, a man broke into the Pelosi home in San Francisco and severely beat Paul Pelosi with a hammer. AP Photo/Kevin Wolf

For those who think this can never happen in our state or our country, think again. Remember Jan. 6, 2021 as a day when our country faced anarchy, because a narcissistic president refused to accept the outcome of an election which he lost.

And while that was bad enough, what was really unacceptable is that a narrative was then created to question the election’s outcome. A narrative that too many leaders continue to instigate while being aware that it creates the disruption and turmoil that jeopardizes our democracy. One that is being perpetuated by losing candidates when an election outcome isn’t in their favor, knowing the violent behavior that it may trigger among their supporters.

When Paul Gosar, a Republican representative from Arizona, tweets an anime video depicting himself killing a fellow representative (Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat from New York), how can we tolerate that kind of behavior without calling the individual out or holding them responsible?

When another candidate mocks and jokes about the violent assault on the spouse of the Speaker of the House, claiming that it is her First Amendment right, what kind of moral behavior is that?

Is it any wonder that we are seeing such violence in the political arena? From the 2017 shooting of GOP Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana to the recent attack on Paul Pelosi, husband of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the Democrat from California, to the violent assault on our capitol and lawmakers on Jan. 6, these incidents must be countered with a level of determination that we will protect our rights to free and unencumbered elections and to accept the outcome of our election process peacefully.

Too often we look at who wins and who loses as the focal point in games, competitions and yes, political races. Isn’t it time that we reassess what is even more important in our election process? It is about democracy, free elections, the safety of those involved in the election process and the security of our country.

This is bigger than all of us. This is what’s at stake.


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About the Author

Vicky Cayetano

Vicky Cayetano is a longtime businesswoman, philanthropist, former First Lady and recent gubernatorial candidate. She is active in the community, advocating for small businesses, animal welfare, supporting the arts and other aspects of our community. Opinions are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Civil Beat’s views.


Latest Comments (0)

I live in Wahiawa and made up my mind to vote Tuesday 11/8 in person. I looked up my poling place on the tax records of where I live and walked there this morning; no voting station or anything. I went to hawaii.gov and looked up the nearest voter service center. I scrolled down to find one at Wahiawa district park (ceramics building). Went to the park mid afternoon no voting place. Others were turning around in the parking lot. As I was walking around the park, I was asked "do you know where to vote?". The same guy who asked me, found someone in the parking lot who was leaving and said "I guess we have to go to Kapolei." I don't want to mail in a ballot. I want to go in person. I want to be around other people who are voting. That would be neat if the elementary school where I originally thought the poling place was working. I would have enjoyed seeing neighbors that I don't usually bump into and catch up.

RCS_Properties · 3 weeks ago

Many Americans are hoping that neither Trump or Biden prevail as our next President I believe our Country is overdue for great leadership from a younger generation . I am a Democrat in many ways but concerned about fiscal responsibility and maintaining a strong military Extremists on both sides are fanning the flames of ignorance and intolerance

Skips45 · 3 weeks ago

Seems like both sides of politics have gone election crazy as usual, but the news media does have the upper hand of party bias being dished out. FaceBook just charged with the largest Campaign Finance violation in American history, Maricopa County Arizona is having some ballot/machine issues, a neighbor friend gets a mail in HI ballot but isn't registered (at least it gets tossed in the trash)... Remember this one, in Hawaii ya cant drop off your mail in ballot at a designated official County ballot drop box on Sunday, but at a USPS mail box it's fine! Sounds like it's time for a National standard to say the least.

Konarandy · 3 weeks ago

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