Where does Hawaii GOP stand on Trump?

This blogpost was first published as an OpEd in the Honolulu Star Advertiser Wednesday Feb 10, 2021.

Tweets from the Hawaii Republican Party’s official Twitter account defending the patriotism of the Proud Boys and extolling the “high quality” analysis of a Holocaust denier have been deleted, then followed by the resignations of first, the Communications Vice Chair, and then the Chairperson of the Party, Shirlene Ostrov. It is worth remembering that one of the January 6 insurrectionists had been embraced by the Hawaii Republican Party as a candidate for the State House of Representatives. This week, as the nation watches the second impeachment trial of Donald Trump, Hawaii has a right to expect the state Republican Party to make absolutely clear where it stands.

Republican Senators like Rand Paul were highly visible on the Sunday talk shows arguing that it was “unconstitutional” to try a President after he has left office, despite multiple scholars asserting otherwise. By contrast, Representative Liz Cheney was very clear about the former President’s role in inciting the mob that stormed the Capitol on January 6.

“The single greatest threat to our republic is a president who would put his own self-interest above the Constitution, above the national interest. President Trump claimed for months that the election was stolen and then apparently set about to do everything he could to steal it himself.”

Speaking on the House floor, Cheney, who voted to impeach, said, ““There’s no question the president formed the mob, the president incited the mob, the president addressed the mob. He lit the flame.” For honoring her oath to defend the Constitution, Cheney faced, and withstood, a challenge to her leadership role. Her Wyoming Republican Party censured her.

Five people died in the insurrection on January 6. More deaths and grave injuries were announced in the days that followed. The public has not yet been given a full understanding of an event that had among its goals the murder of Speaker Pelosi and the hanging of Vice President Pence. The gallows the insurrectionists erected made clear their intensity of purpose. The huge crosses and signs– “Jesus 2020” –made clear how religion was bent to political purpose.

What is brewing in Hawaii?

The Hawaii Republican Party has praised Ostrov for attracting funding from national sources and for growing membership by 60%.  In a recent OpEd, Ostrov urged the people of Hawaii to turn to the Republican Party because “seventy years of the Democratic machine has left our state limping when it should be soaring.”  (“After 70 years of Democratic failings, turn to Hawaii GOP,” Island Voices, Star-Advertiser, Jan. 25).

The home page of the Hawaii Republican Party website.

Trump won nearly 200,000 votes in Hawaii in 2020– about 34% of all votes cast. There are MAGA voters still asserting that the elections were rigged. If the Party once defined by Lincoln wishes to be taken seriously in Hawaii, every elected Hawaii Republican needs to publicly disavow the conspiracy peddlers. They need to state at least as clearly as Rep. Liz Cheney did, how they view Donald Trump’s role in inciting the insurrection that has left many in Congress fearing for their safety, not from an external threat, but from “the enemy within,” to quote Speaker Pelosi.

Will Hawaii’s Republican Party and its elected officials state plainly this week where they stand on the President’s role in starting and fueling conspiracy theories about a stolen election, and inciting a deadly insurrection? The people of Hawaii deserve to know if the cancer of these conspiracy theories is metastasizing – or being excised from our local body politic by a Party whose website still advertises the Trumpian claim that it is “Working to Make Hawaii Great Again.”

Let’s not wait for a local version of the violence that we saw unfold on January 6 in D.C. before we address the very real threat here in our midst.

From the Global Sisters Report, a project of the National Catholic Reporter, Jan 7, 2021.

Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in I BLOG, Politics and Religion, Uncategorized, US Bishops
9 comments on “Where does Hawaii GOP stand on Trump?
  1. AMEN, Sister!

  2. wally inglis says:

    Another good one, Dawn!  Maybe Gene Ward will lead the GOP pack in recanting. wally

  3. Brenda Hough says:

    Amen! I am a white evangelical Christian who did not vote for Trump. I could see right from the beginning he was bad news for our country. He did do some good; God can use anyone for his purposes. But now it is time for each person to take responsibility for their own actions and it is time for Elected Leaders to do what is right. Republicans need to stand up against the lies and violence that Trump has incited. They were elected to LEAD not FOLLOW the PACK. I am praying for God’s will and I have faith that whatever happens God will use it for his purposes. I just hope the US will repent for it’s wrongs and be a Godly influence in the world again.

    • Kuliana Reynolds says:

      Bless you Brenda. I wish there were more white evangelicals Christians like you. I am still incredulous that so many WECs as well as church bodies have turned such a blind eye to Trump’s many wrongs and refuse to see what is so plainly obvious.

  4. Levi Preston says:

    Maybe you should be more worried about President Biden and DNC.

    A worldwide crisis shook the economy to its core. American politics in such upheaval that many Republican politicians turned on their President. The media demonized the President based on what they deemed to be serious, almost unprecedented scandal. The election was contentious, and a new Democratic President took the While House. He selected the most liberal member of the US Senate as his Vice President. With promises to “heal America,” the Democrat also promised to rapidly implement policies on energy, climate, manufacturing, trade, and Iran. The old, hated policies of the prior Administration would be shoved aside and the Republican Party would be tarnished forever.

    If you think this refers to today, it actually describes the situation 45 years ago. This happened in 1976 with the election of Jimmy Carter after the House moved to impeach Richard Nixon. Carter ushered in an agenda that dramatically impacted the American economy.

    In the late 1970’s, we saw Jimmy Carter begin a new administration with promises of healing. But behind those words, there was a demonetization of Republicans and there was an effort to completely reshape the media narrative.

    It’s 2021, not 1976, but it all looks eerily the same. Inflation, energy challenges, and job losses are already happening by executive order.

  5. Brad Baang says:

    Days after the insurrection, I thought I saw on national news that Hawaii’s GOP was the first who sent out a statement condemning the violence at the Capitol.

    • Brad Baang says:

      Reported by Allyson Blair at Hawaii News Now, that a joint statement by Dems and Republican leaders condemned the insurrection, dated Jan 6th around noon then updated around 5:30pm.

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