The Lone Ranger Rides Again

Larry Price
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Wednesday - May 12, 2010
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Channel surfing can be interesting when three of the television stations are running a public service forum on the upcoming 1st Congressional District election.

Don’t misunderstand, the presentation of the three candidates and the format were very well done. The problem is once you’ve seen one of these election forums, you have just about seen them all.

There are at least a dozen candidates vying for the job but only three were selected for the forum. That wasn’t a problem, as federal courts ruled that not including all the candidates in the forum is not against the law.

There are some interesting aspects to the three candidates that weren’t readily apparent.

It was interesting to watch, for a while, because all three are lawyers. Colleen Hanabusa is a famous labor attorney locally and president of the state Senate. Charles Djou is a City Councilman in Honolulu, and a Republican, the other two are Democrats. Hanabusa, Ed Case and Djou are all married.

If you watched the excellent political presentation, a couple of less-than-obvious things were apparent.

First, the questions were all managed and therefore polite. After all, the three candidates had spent considerable money advertising on the sponsoring channels. That was probably the price of admission. The forum was sort of a reward for them. If you watched for a while, you probably got a little bored - not because the candidates weren’t professional in their presentations, but probably because, since they are all lawyers, they all spoke the same language and consequently sounded alike. Maybe it would be wise in the future for legislators to try to not sound like lawyers, because it’s language to impress a judge and jury, not potential voters.

I got tired of listening to all the jargon and rambling about case studies and the human rights of sovereignty and started channel surfing, when I ran across the old series The Legend of the Lone Ranger and his faithful Indian companion, Tonto. The dialogue, written back in 1949-1957, was similar to what the three lawyers were talking about: indigenous rights, reservations, a lack of benefit delivery systems and the government not living up to its treaties. As it turned out, the Native American Indians had a friend in the Masked Man and his Indian companion. He was a lawyer whose brother, a Texas Ranger, got killed fighting crime and corruption in the government of Texas. Oh yes, the Lone Ranger’s real name was John Reed and his broth-er’s name was Dan. Tonto called everyone Kimosabe, which is supposed to mean brother.

There was even a plot by the outsiders from the North, who were taking advantage of the Southerners after the Civil War, to kidnap President Ulysses S. Grant, a former Civil War general from Ohio. The plot was designed to get the new U.S. government to give the Southerners the state of Texas for the safe return of their heroic president. Well, in the final analysis, it didn’t work, and the Lone Ranger and Tonto saved Grant and then rode off into the sunset with the president’s blessing.

Meanwhile, back at the debate, Djou was making like the Lone Ranger battling everyone on the stage. He did such a good job, even current President Barack Obama is encouraging the public to vote Democrat. It’s all scripted and obvious. I would bet that the Democrats are already making plans for a battle between Hanabusa and Case in the upcoming primary election to challenge the “Lone Ranger” in the general election.

It is kind of interesting that a western series written for audiences in 1949 would have so many similarities to modern-day politics. It appears politics have not changed that much in the U.S. since the Civil War.

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