Nikhilananda deserves a chance on County Council

Like most people, I don’t like politics. Too many career bureaucrats making policy decisions for personal gain. Too much bluster, not enough honor. Too many insider deals, not enough outsider input. Too much “me” triumphing over “we the people.”

Local politicians are elected on promises to support “we.” Whether “we” is a group of friends and family or “we” is a set of values, this is the promise. But the longer individuals remain in office, the more their values seem to narrow. “Me” becomes more important than “we.” And local politics becomes a theater of “me,”masquerading as “we,” struggling to find a compromise between the two.

Only a rare personality can effectively navigate the melodramatic currents of “me” versus “we.” I believe one such individual is Nick Nikhilananda. Over a quarter century, I have watched Nick participate actively in Maui affairs. He has a creative and intelligent approach to difficult issues. He understands that livelihood and environment, business and culture are interwoven. Most importantly, Nick has a value system that can’t be bought, because it isn’t for sale.

I have never endorsed a candidate for public office in my writing career. And Nick never requested this letter. But Nick deserves a chance, and we deserve someone like him in the County Council.

Come voting time, remember the guy with the funny name, who has a heart as big as his head. Remember Nick Nikhilananda.

James Phillip Miner