Yesterday, I truly felt in my heart and soul that I am now officially a Kauaian. I left the early voting polls realizing that I had suddenly experienced how a foreign person feels when they vote for the first time after becoming a citizen. The intense positive energy of community spirit literally blasted me in the face as I walked down the ramp to the polls. An older Hawaiian couple were exiting the polls and when we shared smiles the intense energy of civic pride literally filled the air and we mutually glowed with happiness that can only come from knowing the power of pure democracy. Regardless of which side of the issue we are on, when we vote, we are one as a community, and when we are the 100 percent, we are a very powerful people. That’s when we start seeing clearly who “they” are. We don’t even have to name “them” because of one thing we know for sure: “They” are not a part of our community. And we Kauaians, as a Unified Community, are not going to take it anymore.
I arrived on the island on July 18, 2013. On July 31, 2014, I proudly felt I had become a Kauaian as I cast my first primary ballot. And I also learned that an “independent” is a different thing here than it is on the Mainland and, wow, there were so many parties to choose from, but I can only choose one, and how does that work with also having non-partisan choices? Whew! The process sure is different here.
I even had to refrain from voting for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs because I was clueless as to what that is. Maybe immigrants from the Mainland, such as myself, would appreciate receiving a brochure upon registering to vote that explains what the Office of Hawaiian Affairs is and how the newcomer will need to consider that department of the state (or federal?) when voting during their first election in Hawaii. I don’t know. Maybe I had received such a brochure, but my head was still spinning from making the most major strategic relocation in my life, and just pronouncing the street names was an impossibility, let alone finding Safeway all by myself.
An educated public is a civic-minded and strong public. People need to understand how their community works (or ought to work) if we, as a people, are to wield our power as a strong community in unity. If the community of Nitro, West Virginia, could beat the crap out of Monsanto in court, then any civic-minded community can do the same thing. No need for violence. All we, the human beings who are the sovereigns of the island of Kauai, need to do is reclaim our rights as sovereigns through public education on the particularly important democratic process we are blessed with here called home rule. If you want any help on that, just let me know and I’ll be happy to send you what I’ve learned about our rights as Kauaians from recently reading the Hawaii Constitution. I was absolutely fascinated to find out just how much power each county is given in the state of Hawaii. Home rule, or the Cooley Doctrine, versus Dillon’s Rule, where we basically give up our power to people outside of our community, reveals how important it is not to give our personal sovereign power away, regardless of any excuse or rationale to the contrary. Giving up personal power is just plain shooting ourselves in the foot.
Once each registered voter understands the rights and powers he or she has as a sovereign citizen of Kauai, then we will know exactly what to do next as a unified people. Knowledge is power. It’s time to withdraw Excalibur from the Philosopher’s Stone used as its scabbard and brandish its gleaming blade as we exercise our power as free women and men. It is time to end the illusion that we must allow “them” to rule us and recognize the fact that, as a home-rule county, we have the power to take matters into our own hands so that we can save the children and the land with truth, justice, and the Hawaiian way. Let’s get our act together here first, and then we can worry about the rest of the country. Right now, we, the sovereign people of Kauai, need to rightfully take control of matters locally through the powers we actually have under the grant of home rule that we have graciously received from the state of Hawaii, in true aloha spirit, HRS, Sec. 5-7.5 (It’s the law!) and let’s use it to clean house first. After we have everything nice and tidy at home, then we can focus on the next island over and so on until we head for the mainland sharing our aloha spirit.
We, are the 100 percent. We are a powerful people. Many different people, one island, all Kauaians.
Dorothy Kulik is a resident of Kapaa. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org