Blue Crush: How a One-Party State is Crushing the Little Guy
by Jason Scott Jones, The Stream, May 26, 2020
Winston Churchill famously described Russia as a “riddle wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.” This characterization could easily apply to my home state — deep blue in political terms — Hawaii.
Ponder two riddles. First, Hawaii ranked near dead last in COVID-19 cases among US states. But it has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country (skyrocketing from 3 percent to 34 percent). Last week our feckless governor extended his “shelter-in-place” order to the end of June. You may remember him. Gov. David Ige was the luminary who, back in 2018, couldn’t find his Twitter log-in to instantly alert the public that the ballistic missile alarm sending residents into mass panic was a mistake.
Riddle two: Hawaii’s semi-tropical climate rivals only California’s Central Valley as the nation’s most idyllic environment for agriculture production. But still the Hawaiian Islands import 90 percent of their food.
Hawaii’s economic dysfunction and food insecurity are symptoms of a disease — not coronavirus but the crippling disease of one-party politics.
No Checks or Balances in the Echo Chamber
The last Republican governor in Hawaii, Linda Lingle, termed out in 2010. Our current Democrat governor tied with the Connecticut governor for least popular in America, according to a survey in February this year.
In addition to the entrenched administration, the Hawaii Senate boasts 24 democrats and 1 republican. The Hawaii House isn’t much better with 45 D’s and 5 R’s. The Honolulu Mayor isn’t exactly doing a bang-up job either, devoting much of last year heroically banning single-use plastics with only one City Councilwoman out of nine voting, “no.”
Today, it’s little wonder our state officials emulate Governors Newsome (D-CA) and Whitmer (D-MI) in stripping citizens of civil liberties and oh yeh, their jobs.
Botox Safe. Haircuts Kill.
Lost in the media’s COVID-19 blizzard of half-truths is one key fact. The roughly half of the population who cannot work from home are getting screwed over by those who can. Imagine if policymakers and the white-collar workforce were informed their jobs are no longer “essential? What if they had enough cash on-hand for one more month of rent? How fast would they hustle to put the economy back on the rails?
I’m no class warfare agitator, but I’ll admit this enrages me. The organic buying, espresso-sipping, Botox-injecting people have the power to tell the barrista and barber their jobs are non-essential. Point of fact: you can get a facelift in Honolulu today but not sit down for a burger.
I guess when a public health official holds a press conference, we’re just meant to nod in bovine agreement.
Unemployed and Hungry? Get in Line, Son
And how do you explain a once-great agricultural state, turned blue by a fifty-year Democratic stranglehold, that can’t feed itself today? We’re now distributing food to thousands from the parking lot of the Aloha Bowl stadium.
Given Hawaii’s isolation in the Pacific Ocean, surely our leaders have been diligently preparing. Getting ready for a crisis where shipping lines slow to a grind. For instance (to pick one of many examples) by greenlighting a state-of-the-art dairy in Hawaii (a much-needed investment by eBay founder, Pierre Omidyar)? No. They were too busy writing “green” regulations that will make our electricity as expensive as our food. Hawaii State Senate Majority Leader Kalani English bragged, ““Hawai‘i was the first state in the nation to enact legislation that support the commitments and goals of the Paris climate accord.” (Listen to one hand clapping.)
The roughly half of the population who cannot work from home are getting screwed over by those who can.
How about forget about the wishes of the U.N.’s European intelligentsia for a while? Then repeal the Jones Act that created a monopoly in shipping thereby raising prices on virtually every ag import. Or maybe stop promulgating laws that favor wind turbines over farms. Perhaps devote more than half of one percent of the state budget to food and ag. We’re the only state in the union where tractor-trailers can’t just roll across state lines to bring us food.
Forgive me for puncturing their illusion of moral supremacy and even though our Lord of the Flies politicians may dispatch more surveillance drones to keep my family in our cul-de-sac, I have a message for the Hawaii Democrats: Sorry, you’ve overplayed your hand. Food insecure voters make unhappy voters.
Jason Jones is a senior contributor to The Stream. He is a film producer, author, activist and human rights worker. You can follow him @JasonJonesShow.