It isn’t hard for me to envision city, state, and federal officials, along with union and business leaders, stepping forward to lobby for continued high levels of military spending, not because they are opposed to peace but, rather, because they are economically dependent on war.
Hawaii suffers from a severe lack of imagination. Tourism and the Military-Industrial complex are how we make money, and no one can see how we could ever do without. They cannot envision nor would they ever risk loosing those sacred cash cows. They don’t believe that the people of Hawaii are endowed with amazing natural resources and wells of untapped human capital. They cannot see what could be, because of what is. And so we continue to support a military that rapes 1/3 of its own servicewomen and bombs our island, takes up huge chunks of prime land, and drives up rent beyond the reach of local families. And we continue to rely on tourists who crowd beaches, are at the root of all sorts of imminent domain abuse, cause tons of traffic, generate only low-paying low-respect jobs, harm our natural environment and disrespect what is truly local and truly Hawaiian.
Not to say all tourism is bad or the entire military is rotten. This is Hawaii, a fulcrum point and a paradise. Both are expected. But our reliance on each and the scale of each and the harm that each causes out weigh the perceived economic benefits. The truth is we can get along fine without these things. We just need to start trying.