The 2016 American Presidential race is a pretty divisive one, to say the least. This particular election year doesn’t seem like our proudest moment. I regularly overhear coffee shop convos and media commentary sum up the race(s) as simply having to pick the lesser of many evils, while the sad reaction from some would-be voters seems to be apathy – deciding it’s better to pass on the right to vote altogether. And having just traveled overseas and fielding my fair share of inquiries from non-Americans, I can vouch that other citizens of the world see the 2016 election as an American IQ test. We’re at high risk of failing this one miserably by taking the apathetic route.
Hawaiian politician Tulsi Gabbard isn’t among the non-voters though. She’s a strong advocate for American troops. She’s a major in the Hawaii National Guard’s 29th Brigade Combat Team with two tours of Iraq under her belt and is the representative for Hawaii’s 2nd congressional district. Her recent endorsement of one particular candidate sent a strong message about recognizing our values.
“I felt a sense of duty and I could not in good conscience stay back here in beautiful Hawaii and watch my brothers and sisters in uniform go off to combat,” Gabbard says in the 90 second video. “He understands the cost of war. That that cost is continued when our veterans come home.”
This quality, as she puts it, represents “the heart of Aloha.”
Gabbard knows a thing or two about Aloha. She’s a rare breed of human being (at least by all stereotypes): a politician who actually surfs. And she ultimately wants us to remember that we’re all supposed to be in this together.