Our Challenges, My Beliefs, Your Support
Dear Friend: June 7, 2011
I'm asking to work with you, as your United States Senator, to solve the challenges we face. From growing our economy and jobs, to balancing our budget, preserving Social Security and Medicare, protecting our environment, dealing with an uncertain world, and so many more now, plus other challenges we can hardly imagine today.
I would bring to that crucial job and the decisions it requires the overall beliefs I've formed through a diverse and full life. You should know what they are; here are ten:
1. I believe in our country.
Ours is the greatest country. Not just our founding principles, but our history and our continued promise. Our freedoms, balance of majority rule and minority rights, inclusion of new peoples. It’s not always easy being an American. We make mistakes, get out of balance, rarely take a straight path to a better future. But our foundations are sound, we self-correct, and we have bettered our world at great sacrifice. By staying true to our principles and heritage in a changing world, we will prevail.
2. I believe in our Hawaiʽi.
Ours is a special and unique home. Lucky-you-live-Hawaiʽi is not just a saying but a way of life, admired and envied everywhere. But we can't take it for granted. We must protect and nurture it always, from our environment to multiethnic culture and beyond.
3. I believe in public service.
To truly serve one’s fellow citizens, as do ministers, teachers, those in uniform, and so many others, is the highest calling. Not for personal gain, but to better our Hawaiʽi, country and world and live a life of meaning. And because, as one to whom much has been given, much is in fact expected.
4. I believe in government.
It is, after all, our own effort to act together and help each other toward our common good. Many of us today feel unrepresented and burdened by government. Our challenge is not to tear it down but to improve it.
5. I believe in the limits of government.
It can't and shouldn't do everything, any more than we can or should solve all our world’s challenges. Individual and private initiative and contribution must drive our advancement, supported and not obstructed by government. Our goal is to decide what government can and should do and then make sure it does it affordably and well.
6. I believe in inclusion.
When we are excluded from our government, through overly-partisan politics or special interest control or rejection of differing perspectives, we are divided and decisions are not widely accepted. But when we govern by inclusion, we are stronger and wiser together, vested in our collective choices.
7. I believe in working together.
Ours must be a group effort, from helping those in need to picking each other up, our elected leaders working with us and each other toward win-win solutions. Not that we’ll always agree, because we shouldn’t and won’t, and sometimes it can and should come down to a vote. But we must always respect every view and try to find common ground, and, where we disagree, to do so agreeably and move on together to the next challenge.
8. I believe in hard work and perseverance.
True throughout life, but indispensable in the pressure cooker of national office.
9. I believe in leadership.
The job of our national leaders is to make the best decision possible for all of us, looking not just to today but to the next generations. To do that, we must face our challenges squarely and realistically, consult with you, identify the options and consequences, consider our own beliefs, experience and judgment, make the decision, explain it to you, and be accountable for it.
10. I believe in a better way forward.
We must and can do better. That takes change. Not just any change, not to our foundations, not just to change. But responsible change that recharges and offers new opportunities, different approaches, other solutions, fresh starts, unavoidable adjustments to a changing world in a changing time. Change that we direct rather than just react to. We can and will find a better way forward if we seek it out and forge it.
I deeply appreciate your consideration, and look forward to your own thoughts and to seeing you along our campaign trail.
U. S. Congressman (2002-2007)