A recent news cycle was rife with word of the ouster of Mililani politician Beth Fukumoto as the minority leader of elected Republicans in the state House. In an era of fake news, few stories have been as poorly chronicled by our news media.
Fukumoto has been threatening to switch parties for over two years, long before Donald Trump ever ran for office. But you don't see that reported. She votes in favor of liberal Democrat solutions far more often than voting sensibly. But you don't see that reported.
What you do get from Hawaii's mainstream media is that her one and only problem with being a Republican is related to the nomination and election of Donald Trump. This bogus, opportunistic spin is pure nonsense.
But wait, shouldn't the Republican Party of Hawaii be a really "big tent" which has room for those who support and vote for liberal policies?
Shouldn't the GOP be a place where ideological Democrat politicians can run for office under the Republican label in more conservative suburban communities like Mililani, Ewa Beach, Kailua, and Hawaii Kai? Don't Republicans even want more Republicans in office?
Answering this last question really answer them all. Fukumoto's liberal voting record since 2012 would be as if Democrats were still running Hawaii. There'd be no difference at all.
Worse, all the terrible statistics measuring our quality of life would continue getting worse. Currently, half of Hawaii residents struggle paycheck to paycheck. People are having to move to the mainland to make ends meet. Homelessness is worse here than anywhere in the country. The cost of living is out of control. Overtaxation is rampant. Infrastructure is crumbling. Schools are substandard. Our economy is mostly low-paying service jobs. We are drowning in government bureaucrat pensions and perks. And so on.
Failed Democrat policies have lowered the quality of life in Hawaii. Voting like a Democrat drives Hawaii deeper into trouble by enacting more dubious Democrat programs while refusing to repeal failed policies.
Simply having "more Republicans in office" in Hawaii is completely pointless when these are Republicans in name only, or RINOs. Also pointless is an illusory "big tent," which is merely a carbon copy of the Democrat tent and its failed policies.
On the other hand, electing real Republicans who offer voters a choice rather than an echo would benefit Hawaii.
It will take an assertive Republican Party in the islands that works 24/7/365 to pave the way for the election of reform-minded GOP candidates and enactment of reform-minded policies. Without that dynamic, there is no point in pretending a genuine two-party system of checks and balances is right around the corner. It won't even happen in our lifetime.
Real Republicans - frequently maligned by the news media as "radical right-wing zealots" - know that RINOs only serve the purpose of destroying the GOP from the inside while propping up Hawaii's Democrat machine and preventing long-needed repeal of failed Democrat policies.