Friday, May 24, 2024
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Sunday, July 8, 2018
If You Don’t Rock the Boat, How Do You Change Its Direction?
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 4737 Views :: First Amendment, Hawaii State Government

If You Don’t Rock the Boat, How Do You Change Its Direction?

by Tom Yamachika, President, Tax Foundation Hawaii 

A little over twenty years ago, on May 6, 1998, then-Maui Mayor Linda Lingle was speaking to a group of business leaders from the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii. 

Before the meeting, she was told that she could speak on anything she wanted to, but she was specifically told not to criticize any specific person in the government.  She complied with the request, but she also said this:

“Why is the Chamber so reluctant to speak up?  The Chamber should be standing and speaking loudly and openly criticizing the policies that have brought our economy to its knees.  The Chamber of Commerce plays a major role in maintaining the status quo by failing to speak up!”

When many of us in Hawaii grew up, we were taught to go with the flow, that we shouldn’t rock the boat, that it will all work out in the end.  Maybe that is one reason why so few of us turn out to elections.  We just sit tight and hope that it all works out.

And, for those of us who do turn out to vote, or to engage in campaign activities, we vote for the person we voted for before, or we support a candidate we supported before.  So what if the person supported a stupid bill or said something idiotic when speaking about it in the committee hearing?  He is my candidate and I support him, or she has a lot of power and I better support her or else.  All of these are variations on the theme of, “Let’s maintain the status quo.” 

On the business side, many of us are fearful that we’ll lose customers or attract political retribution if we support a specific candidate or a specific policy or platform.  Some of us contribute to opposing candidates so whoever wins will be our “friend.”  Again, these are just variations on the theme of supporting the status quo. 

But what if we don’t like the status quo?  What if we think that our economy is in the toilet and our elected officials are constantly making it worse?  What if we think that real problems that we now face, like staggering unfunded liabilities for pension and health benefits for state workers, or the homeless, or invasive species, are not being adequately dealt with?

We’ve got to rock the boat.

If you’re walking peacefully in the park one day and you step on a huge thorn on the ground, do you just remain silent, not wanting to bother anyone around you?  Of course not!  You howl in pain, bounce around on the other foot, and cry for help!

So, if you are suffering because of our cost of living, or you see government resources wasted or mismanaged, or you confront problems that we should be dealing with but aren’t, howl in pain!  Make your sentiments known!  Educate yourself on some of the critical issues we face and share your knowledge.  You can even share your knowledge with your elected officials, because some of it, maybe lots of it, may be news to them!  (You’d be surprised.  Really.) 

If you have an issue you are passionate about for all the right reasons, get other people on your side too!  Unions like HSTA, UPW, or HGEA, or politically active nonprofits like the Sierra Club or the Nature Conservancy, don’t have a monopoly on organizing people to support their respective causes.  The more people you can convince, the more you can rock the boat.

Remember, if no one rocks the boat, it will never change direction!

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

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 ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii Military History

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Together

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

July 4 in Hawaii

Land and Power in Hawaii

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

Natatorium.org

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

Practical Policy Institute of Hawaii

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii