Republicanism goes back to the Roman era and signifies the attempt of humanity to have a government that brings out the best in people while seeking to control the worst in human behavior. The idea of representative government has grown through the millennia to mean a government democratically elected by the citizens of a republic.
At the beginning of the American Republic, George Washington set the tradition (which held until Franklin Roosevelt) of a two term presidency. Though he clearly meant to avoid the temptation of creating an American monarchy he also did something unique in human history, he willingly gave someone else a chance at running government.
This idea of a democracy where competing ideas have a chance to be heard is the historic rebuke to the chorus of One Party and/or One Man rule that has been the bane of political history. This idea that stability and unending continuity brings the greatest progress and prosperity can be seen from the People Congress of China to the State Capitol of Hawaii, and it is at best circular reasoning. Government will always take credit, due or not, when things are going well. But, wherever there is a lack of competing ideas, the genius that Washington helped unleash, represents a critical missing component and that component is found in one word, innovation.
Innovation is the driving force that has driven the US to its stratospheric height in progress and prosperity. As others have pointed out, while Communist China produces thousands of more STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) graduates than the US, it is the freedom and competition of the American system that may still prevail in the 21st century race for leadership.
Which brings us to the subject of 50 years of near dominance of the Democrat Party in Hawaii. What has taken place is not a loss of party influence but a loss of the alternatives that would have been presented by both those who did not run for office, as well as those who in office did not have to contend in hard debate for their political/economic policies. With this lost alternatives, there is the unseen loss of innovation and choices never considered or pursued.
And, a world that Hawaii has never seen.
It is an important and natural responsibility of those who would vie for leadership in a democratic Republic to present their vision of the world they seek to both preserve and create. With 50 years (i.e. one party rule here in Hawaii) of lost innovation this is a particularity rich field for those holding republican views on government. There is always some debate on what this means but perhaps this list would be acceptable:
- Government accountable to and answerable to the citizen.
- A society of freely interacting interest groups but at its core it protects the God given liberty of the individual.
- Policies and structures to produce prosperity and economic sovereignty for individuals and families.
To break the stranglehold of one party politics and to engage the disenfranchised and discouraged citizens of this state, those who are driven towards republican innovation should GO BIG in policies and ideas. Not only is this needed to make up for the loss in innovation it helps counter the worst proposals being offered by the leftward lurch of the Democrats.
Some GO BIG IDEAS:
- Restore an inter-island ferry system to tie Hawaii together for economic, social and cultural reasons.
- Convert Oahu’s power plants to natural gas increasing Oahu energy resilience and lower the ANNUAL energy cost by One Hundred and Eleven Million Dollars!
- Look hard at Hawaii’s combined city and county government structures, estimate the value of having a strong county governments with taxing ability and perhaps more independent municipalities for Oahu (City of Kailua, City of Kapolei).
- Consider a less centralized alternative to the DOE and create volunteer elected schools boards modeled on the neighborhood board system.
- Convert under utilized DOE property to create teacher dedicated and market price housing using public private partnerships.
- Take all state functions dealing with assets dedicated to those of Hawaiian ancestry and covert them into a Native Hawaiian Corporations controlled by native Hawaiians and modeled after the Native Alaskan Corporations.
The point is GO BIG put out new and fresh ideas and create an excitement and anticipation of new ideas for making all of Hawaii a better place.