In the first elections as the Territory of Hawaii the ruling Republican Party lost to the Home Rule Party which was modeled after similar nationalist parties in British controlled colonies.
The governance of the Home Rule Party proved ineffective and Prince Jonah Kuhio and half the delegates walked out of the HRP’s convention in July of 1902 to form the short-lived Hui Kuokoa Party (partnership for independence/freedom) but by September of 1902 Prince Kuhio decided to join the Republican Party.
This Haole-Hawaiian alliance gave the Republican Party of Hawaii legislative pluralities which proved to be the basis of control by the political oligarchy generally referred to as the “Big Five”.
This interlocking financial network found territorial status advantageous as it allowed for both a favorable tax treatment to preserve their vast real estate holdings (47% of Hawaii land area) and made it possible to import cheap labor in a manner not allowed under statehood.
The Democrat “revolution” of the mid-fifties broke the political monopoly of the Republican Party. This has lead to a steady political decline which has brought the Hawaii Republican Party the present status as the least effective Republican Party in the nation.
On the other hand, 28% of the population identify as Republicans compared to 43% as Democrats. This meaning the GOP in California actually has a 65.1% comparative strength in party identification if we measure the Democrats at 100%.
Senate House Partisan Split
California 29-11 61-19 43-28
Comparative Strength 27.5% 23.75% 65.1%
Delaware 12-9 26-15 47-28
Comparative Strength 42.8% 57.6% 59.5%
Illinois 40-19 74-44 50-33
Comparative Strength 47.5% 59.4% 66%
Massachusetts 34-6 127-32 35-10
Comparative Strength 17.6% 25.1% 28.5%
New Jersey 25-15 54-26 32-19
Comparative Strength 60% 48.1% 59.3%
New York 40-22 106-43 49-23
Comparative Strength 55% 40.5% 46.9%
Oregon 18-12 38-22 37-29
Comparative Strength 66% 57.8% 78.3%
Washington 29-20 57-41 49-34
Comparative Strength 68.9% 71.9% 69.3%
Second Worst Ranking
Rhode Island 33-5 66-9 41-10
Comparative Strength 15.1% 13.6% 24.3%
Worst in the Nation
Hawaii: 24-1 46-5 50-28
Comparative Strength 4% 10.8% 56%
Now we find ourselves on the outside looking in on a form of government that was based on opportunism not the eternal values espoused by the founders of the GOP. And, bearing the blame for both that self-serving opportunism, (which modern Republicans had nothing to do with) and our present failure to advance Republican agendas that have enriched the rest of the nation.
Establishing a New GOP in Hawaii on the solid foundation which has guided the Republican party as the defender of liberty, individual freedom and prosperity for all Americans makes sense. If the present configuration of republicanism in Hawaii cannot make headway it is not the fault of the timeless values the party has expressed and defended for over 160 years.
If the New GOP succeeds in capturing the hearts and minds of the people of Hawaii by having the courage to try things differently than that is something everyone who values the Constitution can celebrate!