LIHUE — The head of the nation is visiting the Aloha State today.
President Donald Trump will be arriving on Oahu on his way to meet with military authorities in Hawaii, as well as government officials across Asia.
“It’s a great thing having the president here, but it’s always an inconvenience with traffic,” said Gabriel Ornellas, who resides in Wailua Houselots. “I feel sorry for the average Joe that’s got to go to work in the morning.”
The lifetime resident hopes Trump will do his honest best for the country.
“I’m probably the minority, but I think the country is for the better. There’s a lot of corruption and stuff going on, a lot of sour people in there that been there for awhile. Let’s drain the swamp, let’s go start all over. It sucks, but the guy’s got the grapples to do it.”
While some residents declined to comment to TGI’s question about what message they would like to give the president, some had a positive outlook about the current administration.
“I hope he gets a nice lei here,” said Ales Sedlacek, a Kauai resident for 43 years. “I don’t understand why people are so much against him. I understand he is more businessman than politician, but why did he win if he was so bad?”
His message to the president is to “be kind to the people here, like he is to his own family.”
Republican Party of Kauai County Chair Steve Yoder was invited to be among 30 Republicans meeting the president when he arrives at Hickman Air Force Base. Hawaiian Republican Party state chair Shirlene Ostrov said she will give Yoder’s letter from the Kauai GOP to Trump.
Yoder said there were several places near Lihue Airport where locals placed banners high in the coconut trees that simply read “Trump 1237,” the number of delegates needed in the Republican party to make history.
“We are going to earn your respect and make Hawaii a ‘battleground state’, so you’ll come to not only Hawaii but Kauai too,” Yoder stated in his letter to the president.
The Republican believes Kauai is the first line of defense from nuclear threats by North Korea.
Some residents were glad the president was visiting the state, but others remained skeptical about his military agenda in Hawaii, the state where he received the lowest percentage of votes in the general election.
“This country has too much military and too much control of the basic population, too many police, too many guards, too many people with badges and too much bureaucracy,” Sedlacek said.
A rally opposing the Trump administration is scheduled in front of the state capitol today.
“Go back to reality TV,” said Stephen Strawn, a Kauai resident since 1978. “He’s undoing everything that Obama did, because Obama was an African-American. He doesn’t have a sense of focus, he has a sense of self. It’s all about his self-aggrandizing, blow-hard personality. It’s shocking.”
Some residents were more understanding to the demands of running a country.
“He’s not getting used and abused like most presidents, because he’s a multi-billionaire. He’s a good businessman,” said Steven Woodman of Lihue. “Money’s not making him do what he’s doing. This guy is a little bit different. He’s got some good ideas, he’s got some bad ideas. Nobody’s perfect.”
A Kauai resident for 28 years, Beulah Smith, proudly points out the Trump sticker on her car’s bumper, the only one she says she’s seen on the island.
“Keep doing what you’re doing, it’s wonderful, it’s going to be great,” was her message to the president. “I’m so excited for his entire agenda and all those that are supporting him. I pray they’ll continue to do that. We are headed to definite prosperity and more faith in our government than we’ve had in many years.”