Mitt Romney

On January 3rd, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney filed his paperwork to form his presidential campaign exploratory committee. This was not a surprise to many. It has long been speculated that Romney would attempt to win the ’08 Republican nomination. I must admit, I do not know much about the man, but I am attempting to learn about all the hopefuls in order to make an informed decision on who I can really get behind. I am very afraid of the major players on the Democratic side and find it unrealistic that a third party candidate can win. So, I began the investigation of Mitt Romney. So far I like what I see. But, I am not inspired yet to discuss his stand on the issues, but rather how people will view his reasons for his stands.

Mitt Romney is a Mormon.

This single fact has blanketed all others in every Mitt Romney discussion. I could hardly discern what his actual view was for all the discussion concerning his religion. And the question was asked, “Does a person’s religion affect the way they govern?”

Powerful question. Not a real easy answer. Personally, I think it depends on a number of factors. What religion are we talking about? What are the core beliefs of the religion and how rigid does the person hold to these beliefs? Then, like many things, I applied the question to myself. How do my views reflect my belief system?

I believe that right and wrong are not relative. There are certain things that are right for all people and wrong for all people, regardless of what you think, believe or feel. There are certain absolutes. There are certain ideas of behavior that can and should be legislated. Some of these ideas may coincide with religious ideas, but that fact alone does not negate the applicability in common society. Off on the rabbit trail I continued.

I think of the beliefs that I hold that are stereotypically tied to religious argument – abortion, stem cell research, alcohol sales on Sunday, marriage, child discipline, prayer in schools, and the like. As an aside, I didn’t say how I felt about these topics. Do you think you could peg how I feel about them all based on what you know about me?

At any rate, I think on these subjects and I have begun a quest for myself and a challenge to you all. On the issues, can you defend your position without the use of religious arguments and subjective moral platitudes? Should you be expected to? Should presidential hopefuls be expected to? Would you vote for someone of a different religious background than you? Where do you fall out where the issues are concerned? How is that going to affect the way you vote? Does any of this even matter to you?

About Me

My father’s people call me Hapa Haoli. The words are Hawaiian; Hapa, meaning half, and Haoli meaning, white or mainlander. My mother is a beautiful Georgia Peach with the hair and freckles of the Irish and my dad is Hawaiian with salt water in his veins and sand in his hair. Both cultures are so rich with family tradition. So, you could say that I am a southern transplanted Hawaiian with a strong sense of family.

I am a southerner by heart, by speech, and by eats. There is nothing about the south I don’t like. From cornbread to grits and from hundred degree weather to 100 percent humidity. I have a drawl, I say ya’ll and a cook with so much ham hock and butter my vegetables are unhealthy. I say ma’am and sir and I can tell you, with pretty good accuracy, where yonder is. I love family reunions, weddings at the bride’s Grandma’s house, and azaleas in the springtime. I love the way southern people don’t move to fast, the way we take the time to say hello and smile. The way we take things easy – we really have no choice – most of the time it is too hot to do anything fast. Most of the colleges aren’t as big, but the football is great. Most of the doctor’s aren’t as rich, but he knows my history without my chart. My history, my momma’s, my two sisters my aunt, our neighbor – you get the point. I wouldn’t give up my Southern roots for all the tea in China – because we drink ours sweet and I don’t think they do.

I am Hawaiian by birth. My father comes from a family whose tree is planted firmly in the sands that are Hawaii. My father makes it a point to impress upon us the importance of the Hawaiian blood. Its traditions are rich and family important. I don’t have any Hawaiian friends. They are all family. They are not Mr. and Mrs. They are Auntie and Uncle.

In Hawaii, you are of the land or you are a visitor. There is no place in a Hawaiian’s heart for disrespect of the islands. The land is sacred. It is a part of the history of the people and as such has embedded upon its children the love and respect due to an honored parent. My father has done his best to keep traditions alive. It has been hard since we live so far away, but he has done well. My sisters and I can cook some of the more common dishes such as luau luau and lomi salmon, and we all dance the hula. The distance between the place I was born and the place I was raised is great, but they are both home.

My family is my rock. I believe that even without oxygen, my family could sustain me. The people in my tree define who I am. My mother has given me the courage to withstand all things. She has taught me the meaning of integrity and perseverance. She showed me how wisdom was important and that taking a stand was cool. She gave me the permission to open my mouth in protest as long as I remember that everyone deserves respect. My father gave me the backbone to follow through. He taught me that who you are is shown more by what you do than what you say, who you know or what you have. Together they showed me that nothing is more important than waking up every morning knowing you were loved unconditionally. I now have my own children to love unconditionally.

My two oldest girls are like sun up and sun down – both beautiful and glorious yet on completely opposite ends of the earth. My two babies are still new and 11 months apart. Yet they have already given me more than I could ever imagine. They feed me life. As much as parents are supposed to teach their children, they have taught me more. They have showed me that most answers are simple and most hurts can be cured by a hug and an ice cream. I now know that folded clothes, if left unattended for a second, will need to be folded again and dirt has radar. I have also learned that their best chance of becoming wonderful adults involves being around wonderful adults. In this they have shown me the kind of person I strive to be.

And my husband, the wonderful father of these children. He is my perfect complement. We differ from some of the married people we know in that we actually like each other. Forget the fact that we are married – we are best friends. He thinks I am great. I know it is because of him.

 

I have the best friends. They are like a bouquet of flowers – each different and colorful and bringing incredible life into my world. I love them dearly. They are more than friends, they are fellow journeyers. They walk with me down my life’s path and allow me to experience theirs.

My personality evolves everyday. With each new experience my repertoire changes. I grow and learn and increase myself. But who I am, where I am from
and the things I hold important are as certain as Georgia Heat, Hawaiian Surf and the roots that have been nurtured by each.