Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Trump Drove Another Republican Out Of The Party-- Who Cares? Keep Your Eye On The Ball And In Hawaii That Means Electing Kaniela Ing To Congress


Right now there are 3 candidates running for the open Honolulu-based seat (HI-01), two conservative Democrats from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party, Donna Mercado Kim and Doug Chin, and the state's most progressive and deep-thinker political leader, Kaniela Ing.

Rumors abound that a 3rd Republican masquerading as a Democrat, Beth Fukumoto, is about to jump in as well. A few months ago Fukumoto was the minority leader of Hawaii's House of Representatives, where she voted like... a Republican, of course-- anti-Choice, anti-LGBTQ, anti-environment, anti-working family... you know what Republicans are; she was the leader. Then she said something uncomplimentary about Señor Trumpanzee so they threw her out of her leadership position and she quit the party. After being an independent for a while she saw an opportunity to run for office as a "Democrat" and joined that party. She, Chin and Kim are three of a kind, all calling themselves Democrats after having run up ugly Republican records.

And now another Republican is jumping ship, ex-Congressman Charles Djou. Who knows what he'll be running for. He wrote an Op-Ed, making himself sound heroic, yesterday for Civil Beat. He lost his last 3 elections as a Republican.
Today, after much consideration, I abandon my party because I am unwilling to abandon my principles. I can no longer stand with a Republican Party that is led by a man I firmly believe is taking the party of Lincoln in a direction I fundamentally disagree with, and a party that is unwilling to stand up to him.

I have long believed that America’s strength lies in our nation’s diversity-- not its exclusion or isolation. We are a nation of immigrants and benefit from a national fabric woven with the threads of many people, of many backgrounds and cultures, all united in the common belief and love of American liberty. That’s why I championed immigration reform as a congressman.

It disturbs me that the Republican Party under President Donald Trump is now defined as a party hostile to immigration. We are the leader of the free world, not because we are great (or need to be great again), but because we are good.

I have always supported robust international diplomacy and free trade. As a congressman, I advocated for passage of the free-trade agreement with South Korea and strongly supported the Trans-Pacific Partnership initiative to expand free trade across Asia with the U.S. Trump’s decision to withdraw from the TPP, his threats to leave NAFTA, and now his desire to launch a “good trade war”-- even with our allies-- will lead to long-term economic decline and weaken our country.

I believe in peace through strength. That is why in the days after Sept. 11, 2001, I joined the Army Reserve and subsequently deployed with an infantry combat brigade in Afghanistan. That is why I am so disturbed by Trump’s repeated callousness toward the select few of our citizens who volunteered to defend our nation with their lives. From ridiculing John McCain’s service as a POW in Vietnam, to trivializing the grief of gold star mothers who lost their children in service of our country, Trump’s actions are indicative of a man ignorant of honor and true sacrifice.

I believe the free market is the engine of America’s economy. Like Trump, I, too, am a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Finance. Unlike Trump, however, I oppose favoring corporations based on their political relationship to the president. That is exactly the sort of socialist-style interventionist meddling that leads to economic ruin.

Most of all, I have long believed that our government leaders must lead by example. Character counts.

This is why I made the lack of ethics at City Hall and abuse of power by Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell a key issue in the last mayor’s race. This is why I fought so hard to clean up the corrupt City Liquor Commission. This is also why I roundly condemn the immoral behavior toward women by Democrats like Al Franken and Bill Clinton, as well as Republicans such as Roy Moore and, yes, Donald Trump. It should not matter if you are conservative or liberal, Republican or Democrat, a breach of public trust is a breach of public trust.

Civility is an inner trait of true character. Trump’s belittling of Sen. Jeff Flake and immature name-calling of Sen. Bob Corker reflect a weakness of character. Trump’s penchant for conspiracy theories, such as his assertion that Sen. Ted Cruz’s father was involved in the assassination of JFK, is disturbing. His poorly constructed stream-of-consciousness tweets are not only immature, but provide real harm to the stability of our democracy.

As President George W. Bush recently lamented, “Bullying and prejudice in our public life sets a national tone, provides permission for cruelty and bigotry, and compromises the moral education of children. The only way to pass along civic values is to first live up to them.”

But I am most disappointed by the failure of the GOP to clearly and consistently condemn Trump’s childish behavior. Sadly today, too many Republicans either applaud Trump’s tirades or greet them with silent acceptance. This leads to an implicit ratification by the GOP of Trump’s undisciplined, uninformed, and unfocused leadership as a core part of the Republican Party. This is something I cannot accept and will not be a part of.

In 1904, one of the brightest leading members of the British parliament, Winston Churchill, abandoned the Conservative Party. Churchill believed in free trade, a strong defense and capitalism. When the Conservative Party turned away from these principles, Churchill placed his principles ahead of politics. Churchill articulated his consistency of conviction years later with this declaration: “Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never-- in nothing, great or small, large or petty-- never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense.”

Today I humbly follow in Churchill’s footsteps.
I'm not sure if retired Lt. Col. Ralph Peters, a Fox News analyst for a decade, quit the GOP but Tuesday he did quit Fox News-- pretty much the same thing. "I feel that Fox News is assaulting our constitutional order and the rule of law, while fostering corrosive and unjustified paranoia among viewers," he explained to friends and colleagues. "Over my decade with Fox, I long was proud of the association. Now I am ashamed. In my view, Fox has degenerated from providing a legitimate and much-needed outlet for conservative voices to a mere propaganda machine for a destructive and ethically ruinous administration. When prime-time hosts-- who have never served our country in any capacity-- dismiss facts and empirical reality to launch profoundly dishonest assaults on the FBI, the Justice Department, the courts, the intelligence community (in which I served) and, not least, a model public servant and genuine war hero such as Robert Mueller-- all the while scaremongering with lurid warnings of 'deep-state' machinations-- I cannot be part of the same organization, even at a remove. To me, Fox News is now wittingly harming our system of government for profit."

Back to Hawaii, no one needs, more self-serving Republicans in the Democratic Party to water down an already tarnished and nearly unrecognizable brand! Please, consider supporting Kaniela Ing for Congress. I promise he'll be at least as good a member of Congress as Ro Khanna, Pramila Jayapal, Barbara Lee and Mark Pocan-- and God knows we need more members like those four!

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At 8:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I left the democrap party over 20 years ago because they left the Left.

A vote for Ing, no matter how good he truly is, is a vote for the party that hasn't served the left for over 20 years.

Interesting how no democraps ever seem to leave the party that left the left. It implys that those new people aren't really supporters of the left either. If they were, they'd not be democraps.

Are the left even dumber than the right? It's arguable.

At 3:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Rs have been the Nazi party, hateful of everyone but stupid white men, blind to corruption, warmongering, economically delusional and a list of other evils FOR 100 YEARS!! And it takes trump to drive that one guy out? Really? That's the last straw? It wasn't the wars of aggression or torture or tax cuts for millionaires or hate of brown and female persons?

Oh well.

I could say the same thing about the guy who left fox.


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