Friday, December 2, 2022
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Saturday, December 7, 2013
Undoing the Past
By Grassroot Institute @ 1:03 PM :: 4327 Views :: National News

Undoing the Past

Undoing the Past

by Malia Hill, Grassroot Institute

It is a simple fact of life and writing that it is easier and more entertaining to criticize than to praise. To some extent, that might be due to the fact that there is just so darn much out there that is worthy of criticism. Plus, praise can be dull. Necessary. Wonderful when it occurs. But still dull. Perhaps it comes from the same part of human nature that causes us to slow down and peer at car crashes. (Or, if we’re the rigidly disciplined type that doesn't do that, the part of human nature that you steadfastly try to ignore, even as it screams at you to take a quick peek as you crawl past.) And yet, when you’re focused on political change, it starts to feel like your primary mode of existence is “complaint.” And the fact that you’re constantly complaining leads to a sense of frustration—will things ever really change?

Which brings me to this column. Because we’re now fully engaged in the Christmas season, I started to get into the spirit of things and decided that this week I was going to focus on some good news rather than bemoaning the state of things. So I began to look around for some subject of optimism and …

There was the Obamacare roll out. Definitely nothing to work with there.

The ongoing fight between anti-GMO activists and our state agriculture industry. Also not full of hope at the moment. Despite the petition from Hawaii farmers that politicians stop and think about the consequences before getting swept up in the orchestrated hype, county after county is jumping on the bandwagon, and the activists have now set their sights on Maui.

The Jones Act? Alas, most of the good news comes from the other places (like Puerto Rico) that are starting to make some noise about its effects. I’m happy that people in Hawaii are starting to pay attention to how the Act affects our economy, but there’s a long way to go on that issue.

And on and on it went. The Hawaii Congressional delegation still believes that the best way to help Native Hawaiians is through policies of racial division and discrimination. Not only is there the continued effort to try to persuade the President to use back-door methods to enact the Akaka Bill, but recently Senators Schatz and Hirono introduced a resolution that endorses blood quantum qualifications for transfer of a leasehold under the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act.

To be honest, it all kinda bums you out after awhile.

And then, I did find something that gave me hope in the most unexpected way.

This week marked the 80th anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition. And while we may smirk today at the mindset that thought there were social answers to be found in outlawing alcohol, it’s actually an impulse that underlies much of the nanny-ing, “eat your vegetables” legislation we see today. And more forgivable in some ways. The Temperance Movement was concerned with the criminality and health problems that seemed so clearly associated with alcohol consumption. Prohibition was going to save us from ourselves, make us healthier, safer, and so on. And, as with so many well-intended efforts marked by heavy-handed government, the unintended consequences of the law soon had people crying out for its repeal. So far from reducing criminality, Prohibition is generally credited with the birth of organized crime. No one can say whether alcoholism rates truly dropped during the Prohibition era, as the law just made the statistics unreliable. We do know, however, that it did incredible damage to our homegrown wine, beer, and liquor manufacturers. So, let’s just add “causing America to spend decades with little choice in beers other than bland and uninspiring lagers,” to our list of wrongs caused by Prohibition as well.

At this point, you’re probably wondering why I found this so inspiring. It’s simple: Prohibition was repealed. We actually recognized that we had made a mistake and passed a bad law. And, rather than endlessly amending it or otherwise propping it up, we just said, “You know what, let’s take a mulligan on this one,” and undid it. Granted, we don’t seem to have that kind of clarity very often. And we pass all sorts of bad laws on a depressingly frequent basis. But Prohibition gives me hope. Because if we can recognize a bad law, and reverse it once, then we can do it again. Whether we’re talking about Obamacare, the Jones Act, or any of the other items of legislation that hamper the free market or chip away at individual liberty, there’s something wonderful in the possibility that we might just see the light before it’s too late and undo things. And that’s something worth drinking to.

---30---

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

808 Silent Majority

ACA Signups Hawaii

Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Astronomy Hawaii

Back da Blue Hawaii

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

ChinaTownWatch.com

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Life Alliance

Hawaii March for Life 

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

HIEC.Coop

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

July 4 in Hawaii

Kakaako Cares

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

Natatorium.org

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

OurFutureHawaii.com

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

P.U.E.O.

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

ReRoute the Rail

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Save Dillingham Airfield

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

Sink the Jones Act

Statehood for Guam

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

UCC Truths

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

VAREP Honolulu

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

Yes2TMT