As the Republican leader in the Hawaii House, I made compromises that I regret. I spoke out when our presidential candidate said he might have supported Japanese American internment, but I couldn’t find the courage to question the implementation of voter identification laws that I should have understood weren’t designed to protect voters.
I made decisions out of political expediency, or hubris, or naivete. Republicans offered an inclusive vision of “Growth and Opportunity” for all; then we elected a man that didn’t even bother to fake it. I couldn’t make it right. I declined to endorse him and criticized his policies. Then, when he won, I continued to disagreed with him in public, and my Republican colleagues said they would strip me of my leadership position unless I promised to stop speaking against him. So, I resigned from the party. A few months later, I joined the Democratic Party.
I drew my red line too late. I’ll answer for my choices publicly and privately for years to come. But admitting your mistakes is one of the best ways to keep from repeating them.