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HOOSER: Wisdom from a first grader

For Presidents’ Day, my incredibly smart 7-year-old granddaughter Isabella was asked by her first grade teacher to answer a single question: What would they do if they were president? My granddaughters response was: “If I were president I’d be kind to everyone.”

She nails it of course. It’s about putting people first. It’s about lifting people up, not putting people down. This is the destination we seek and must work toward.

There’s only one candidate who can win and get us closer to the future we want and desperately need — that’s President Joe Biden.

If we stay home or divide our votes on Nov. 5, Donald Trump will win, hate and exclusion will win, and people and the planet will lose.

Some say it’s RFK Jr. Others say Marianne Williamson, Jill Stein or Cornell West, and there’s no shortage of loud voices saying that Trump is the only one who can lead us to the promised land.

Wishing, hoping, dreaming and fantasying about some super charismatic leader (dictator) that solves our problems and gets us out of this mess — will only get us further from our destination, not closer.

To build a better world requires all of us, or at least a majority of us — participating in the process, working together, shoulder to shoulder, toward a common vision — taking ownership of our democracy.

And no single person is going to take us to the promised land.

If we stay home or divide our votes on Nov. 5, Donald Trump will win and take us to a world where only the strong survive, where bullies are idolized, and where the haves continue taking from and stomping all over the have nots.

My hope is that both locally and nationally we identify and elect leaders who believe in a future that includes a living wage, free preschool, paid family leave, universal health care, and where no child goes hungry at school — basic support for working families already available in many parts of the world.

“If I were president I’d be kind to people.” It truly is that simple.

We need to support leaders, locally and nationally, who at their core want to give people a better tomorrow, to lead with abundance, not out of fear that we will go without if we reach our hand out to help somebody else.

We need leaders who encourage people to read more books, who believe the risks of climate change is real, and who embrace and value diversity.

I believe Joe Biden is fundamentally a good man, who believes in these values and more.

To be absolutely clear, I am deeply disappointed, vehemently opposed, and abhor President Biden’s and the United States Congress continued military support of Israel and the ongoing killing of innocent civilians in Gaza.

Though it’s not happening fast enough, that position seems to be shifting toward increased humanitarian aid and support of a lasting ceasefire.

At this moment in time, Joe Biden and Donald Trump are the only viable choices that will be on the Nov. 5 ballot in all 50 states.

Yes, there’s Marianne Williamson, Jill Stein, and Cornell West, but neither has been able to gain support from the general population.

I certainly respect RFK Jr. and align with much of his work fighting corporate powers and polluters. He seems to be saying the right things on the war and peace fronts as well.

If I thought he could win, if I thought a vote for him would not divide the antiTrump vote … causing Trump to win, if I was able to determine that RFK Jr. is not an antivaxer conspiracy theorist, then I would consider giving him a closer look. But for me, there are still way too many unanswered questions.

The choice before us is not about any single issue. It’s about the bus that’s leaving and making sure we take the one that will get us closest to where we want to go.

For me, that would be the Biden Bus.


Gary Hooser served eight years in the state Senate, where he was majority leader. He also served for eight years on the Kaua‘i County Council. He presently writes on Hawai‘i Policy and Politics at
Source: The Garden Island

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