Why Hawaii Won’t Vote GOP

It’s no secret that I am anti-Trump, and if I were in  government employ I’d be one of those “Deep State” people dragging his feet when told to carry out patents;y ridiculous directives. No, on second thought I’d  quit. I have this underlying sense-of-duty that if you work for the federal government you also work for the President in charge of the government and have a duty to carry out his mandates. Unless the order’s certifiably illegal, you do it.

I have a daughter who is a foreign service officer in the State Department (Hanoi, Kabul, Nepal, Kosovo, Fiji, Australia) and I would expect her to carry out the orders of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo even if she finds them poorly designed. She can always quit and take her objections public. She works to make sure our USAID money if well and non-discriminatorily spent regardless who’s in the White House.


My argument (and I’ll be interested to hear feedback from loud-spoken, hard-core Hawaii Trumpists ) is that DT quite often appears to be uneducated in his public remarks, quick to blame others for things that go wrong, flat-out  lies, and outdoes every president in our history in calling other people nasty names or giving them nasty nicknames such as “Pencil Neck.” Do you disagree with that?

I have this deep sense that what he really wants to say is “if you people would just let me run things without having to consult Congress, we’d really get things done!”

I’m not anti-GOP.  I voted first time around for Gov. Linda Lingle (not the second time.) I would not have gone into hibernation had Mitt Romney beaten Barack Obama. I was okay with George Bush until the Iraq war came around. George H.W. until  the “read my lips, no new taxes” quirk. My first presidential vote was for Eisenhower.

But Trump — he plays one group against another. Whites against non-white immigrants. Factory workers against factory investors. He’s unpresidential in his meetings with foreign leaders. He seems to revel in ignoring advisers. Who else in that office has ever publicly said he’s smarter than the generals?

Fake news? Of course not. Most of us in journalism and outside it have an ability to spot falsehoods and disorder within governmental administrations and we who write or broadcast rightfully report those so people know if things are being well run.

Is some news inaccurate. Of course. Mistakes are made, but in most cases I know of they are corrected. And you must learn to separate news from opinion in what you read and see and hear in news media.

My sense is that one reason Hawaii doesn’t have a larger GOP presence is because of GOP history. When the ultras-conservative Pat Robertson movement arose, some of our prominent Republicans switched to Democrat. Then the local party had Willis Lee and Eric Ryan and they alienated more party member. And the   new party chairwoman Sherlene Ostrov, who shares general GOP “rightness” but is not able to bring any significant candidates or any significant number of voters into the party.

People are correct who say the Democrats have spent a lot of money but not done a helluva lot to make this place more affordable, more business friendly. I’d say 100% right and I keep hoping for someone of any party or even a non-partisan to win with a better agenda. I’m tired of the failures!

But the GOP cannot keep putting up the Duke Aionas, John Carrolls, Bob McDermotts and Marissa Kernses. It really needs to support  top-flight and moderate candidates such as Charles Djou, who got little support because he would not fly the GOP flag high enough and quit the GOP and won’t run any more.

It’s basically been the Hawaii story since the start of the 60s.


Remember how Hiram Fong (GOP) easily defeated Tom Gill (D) for the Senate? That and Neal Blaisdell and Hebden Porteus and Pat Saiki and Wadsworth Yee. The great years!

A Bush I or Bush II endorsement for a Hawaii GOP candidate was very valuable. A Trump endorsement now? A kiss of death.

Why? Not just Trump policies. We in Hawaii, like most Pacific territories, have expectations of certain behavior and how we speak of others. Trump has violated those.

He’s not welcome in most of our houses.

Published by Bob Jones

Journalist since age 19. St. Petersburg Times, Noticias y Viajes in Madrid, Overseas Weekly in Frankfurt and Paris, the Louisville Courier- Journal, the Honolulu Advertiser, KGMB-TV, NBC News foreign correspondent in Africa and Southeast Asia, and MidWeek columnist. LL.B LaSalle University Law. 3 years in the U.S. Air Force. Covered: Biafran War in Nigeria (1968) Vietnam War (1969-73), Iraq in 1991. George Foster Peabody Award for distinguished journalism for reporting in China. 2 Emmys for documentaries. Married to journalist Denby Fawcett; one daughter. Brett Jones, foreign service officer, State Department.

4 replies on “Why Hawaii Won’t Vote GOP”

  1. You make a strong point about Trunp’s nasty behavior but many Trumpistas know he is a jerk and they are at peace with that. They say he may be rude but his policies have been good. To dissuade Trump’s supporters you need to point out that many of his policies are bad and now some are downright dangerous. Add a few of Trump’s responses to the virus and you might sway some Trump supporters to your side. Up until now, Trump has muddled through, shooting from the hip, but with the virus, an invisible protein he has no target at which to shoot,

  2. Bob I thought you liked the economy. Casting the first stone??
    I thought you would keep your job too but then well you know that virus from over there. To go against the one trying to help you and is like saying the country should have a recession now so Joe can win. In Hawaii that does not mater as many of us leave who are not able to stay and retire.
    Now 25% lost their jobs and do not have a million bucks to live on. That and the virus containment led by incompetence at the top. Mauna kea again. Let someone else do it. It is enough to get those sheep out to vote.
    We are loyal republicans Not because we can be turncoats or want power but It continues to be unbelievable to see support for the party as you say screwed up the place since Arioshi. You may not have been close to politics only liberals but his group replaced by a new generation now goes to extremes not to serve but control. Nice of you to be so accepting. I still love you and Denby. Politics is just that not friendship
    The statement about how the media is always attacking our president is correct and while he leads us the rest of the country likes his job with Coronavirus by 60%!

    Hawaii is a hell hole for the working man. You know under $100,000 a year for a family of four. They don’t own a home in Kahala but drive an hour to work and home. Three jobs for parents. Kids with poor education and elitist telling them what to think.
    So beaten down they don’t vote. University kids don’t go to UH football games as they are not inspired to support any cause except socialism. Think about about that cause.
    If you think another republican could do better let them get involved and stop the talk as that is cheap.
    I help write the constitution in 1978.
    You know I tried for fifty years and Ike before me. I saw city corruption from Fasi to Coldwell. Issues are not important to unions or democrat voters as they have city and state incomes. Connections baby. Stay quiet or they hammer the nail.

    Your upset at a few republicans IS misdirected. I had the party increased by 50% when I single handed ran the GOP caucus for the president . Yup but I do not want to run it. I had to work driving Uber. They volunteer.
    My advanced ability for social networking and getting out the vote could have been great for the general but national thought little of the chances with a state that has the likes of Sen Mazie. And that congressional member Capt 1% Gabbard who likes Killer Bashar Hafez al-Assad. She could be on late night tv for her cult. Remember her guru? Like her skunk streak.
    The other guy Case should be a Republican but his billionaire cousin would not pay for his campaigns. Good luck. They do nothing for Hawaii they all try to attack Trump only. You can’t see that? Don’t ask about Shatz as his lack of respect in the senate is tops.

    Let’s go on about the Dems side and how Rail is the best way to give money away to the real mafia from taxpayers since whore houses on Hotel st .
    In Burns day the money was city run by Fasi choosing school buildings but then schools had to cow tow to the state after Arioshi in the legislature changed that. Remember the 60s? Kickbacks still.
    The fact is you are not a political journalist but are a fair man on FB.

  3. There are 4-5% of the voting populace that are independents and disenchanted conservatives. I believe they will make the difference. I’d focus on making the case against Trump with those voters, not so much the Trumpers. I like your blog website. Best wishes!

  4. When I was growing up in HI, I remembered that my parents always watched KGMB for the news and it was a combination of you, Bob Sevey, Tim Tindall and Joe Moore. I’m glad you have a blog!

    The thing I want to say about Trump is that I think he is probably a good business salesman but is not a great leader. During times of economic health, he has been able to use his salesmanship to tout how great he is because the stock market has gone up and unemployment is down. Because he is a businessman by nature, his lens seems to be always based on how businesses are doing.

    But now with a pandemic on his hands (that he first try to blow off and only recently realized that it’s serious), I am observing that his salesmanship isn’t going to get him through these tough times. He needs to be a leader, but he doesn’t know how to do this.

    I am hoping for the best for our country and for Hawaii. And for the state of WA, where I currently reside.

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