Today absentee ballots will start arriving in mailboxes across Hawaii. It's the first day we can start to bring real change to Hawaii and America with your vote.
During my tour of duty in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, one of the most profound things I saw was the first day of school. In Afghanistan, schools were targeted by the Taliban. The insurgents, who follow a perverse form of Islamic theology, believed that schools "poison" the minds of children with Western ideas. Consequently, the Taliban sought to kill the children who went to school.
What I found amazing wasn't the evil nature of the Taliban. Instead, I was stunned by the courage of the Afghan parents and their children. In Kandahar, 85% of the adults are illiterate. Yet these illiterate Afghan peasants brought their children to school knowing that the Taliban would try to kill them. They understood that to change the direction of their village, to improve the conditions in their community, to have any hope for the future of Afghanistan, it required their sons and daughters to learn to read and write, even if they could not.
We are privileged to call ourselves Americans. In our country, we too can bring about change for the better for our community and our country. But no one will shoot at us or throw a grenade at us for trying to better our State and Nation. Instead, all that is required is that we cast a ballot and vote for change.
Whether you get your absentee ballot in the mail today or vote in-person at the polls three weeks from now, please exercise the power given to you as an American and vote, and please make sure your family and friends vote. We can make life better for the people of Hawaii and America, but we can only do so if we vote.
Charles K. Djou