Why Filipino-Americans should vote for Obama
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2008-11-02

Republican and former George W. Bush State Secretary Colin Powell provided the best reason for preferring and endorsing the Democratic Party presidential candidate, Senator Barack Obama, over the Republican Party candidate, Senator John McCain.

Powell said: “I think he is a transformational figure, he is a new generation coming onto the world stage, onto the American stage, and for that reason I’ll be voting for Sen. Barack Obama.”

“He has met the standard of being a successful president, being an exceptional president,” Powell added.

Powell started a long line of Republicans (and people one would expect to vote for a Republican presidential candidate) who have junked McCain in favor of Obama. Among them are Bush former Press Secretary Scott McClellan, Alison Goldwater (granddaughter of former Republican 1964 presidential candidate Barry Goldwater), Christopher Buckley (son of staunch Republican writer William Buckley) and Ron Reagan (son of President Ronald Reagan).

Republican stalwarts — Political Strategist Ed Rollins, Senator Richard Lugar (most senior in the Foreign Relations Committee) and writer George Will — fell short of openly endorsing Obama but made comments that reinforced Obama’s cause.

If McCain can’t even convince his own party’s staunch supporters, Filipinos in America should ask themselves why they should even consider voting for John McCain.

The renowned publication, The Economist, has conducted a world poll on the US presidential candidates using the very same US Electoral College system of voting. The Economist assigned each country a corresponding number of votes following the US yardstick.

China, as would be expected, was assigned the most number of Electoral College votes with 1,900. India had 1,588, the Philippines 132, Australia 31, Brazil 272, Russia with 205, South Africa with 70, Saudi Arabia with 37 and so forth.

As of last Sunday, McCain got a total of 228 electoral votes compared to Obama’s 9,009 electoral votes. The Economist Global Electoral College map was a sea of blue, the color assigned for Obama. From all continents, Obama was an outstanding choice — reinforcing Powell’s manifestation that a transformational US president is needed at this time.

McCain represents to most people in the Global Village the face of the Imperial America which many nations distrust. Ask people about McCain and the first thing that comes to mind is hawk, owing largely to his soldier background and his pronouncements of knowing how to win wars.

Here is a sampling of how the world voted (the first number is Obama, the second is McCain). China: Obama 83% — McCain 17%, India: 87% — 13%, Pakistan: 81% — 19%, Philippines: 88% — 12%, Indonesia: 96% — 4% , Thailand: 86% — 14%, Australia: 89% —11%, Brazil: 81% — 19%, Mexico: 86% — 14%, Canada: 89% — 11%, South Africa: 88% — 12%, Sudan: 47% — 53%, Egypt: 91% — 9%, Georgia: 48% — 53%, France: 91% — 9%, Germany: 90% - 10%, Syria: 100% — 0%, Iraq: 23% — 77%, Iran: 84% — 16%, and Afghanistan: 85% — 15%.

Regardless if the country is a traditional US ally or foe, Obama is the preferred next US president. Not only that, Obama is preferred in lopsided numbers that often exceed an 80 ‑ 20 ratio. If the US is to maintain their leader position in the world, the American voters will do well to listen to the sentiments of the peoples of the world.

Considering the key role that the US plays in promoting and keeping world peace, it is logical that Obama, and not McCain (and his braggadocio of being the more seasoned candidate for the world stage) who can be expected to promote cooperation among the peoples of the world towards a path of peace and an era of mutual development and cooperation.

The immense preference for Obama in known anti-US countries like Iran and Syria cannot be ignored by US voters if they truly want to keep their soldiers home and away from the deadly reach of Middle East suicide bombers. Obama has the political capital to be able to bring their foes to the conference table and work out a mutually-acceptable peace.

Iran and Syria will never trust a hawk like McCain whose Republican Party is supported by the very economic forces and vested interests in America that promote the US imperial character.

Most Americans want to promote democracy. They are great humanitarians and truly believe that democracy is the best political system in the world. Most Americans detest this Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde image that their country has developed.

The vested interest groups who are known to support the Republican Party — Vice President Dick Cheney’s Haliburton among them — are the ones who provoke the Mr. Hyde character of the US that the world has come to distrust and hate.

This Mr. Hyde character of the US is responsible for the creation of so many dictatorships in the world — including the Marcos dictatorship here. This Mr. Hyde character of the US allows them to disregard human rights abuses by tyrants who happen to serve US geopolitical objectives.

This Mr. Hyde character of the US is what transformed people like Osama Bin Laden — once a US ally in Afghanistan in fighting the Russians in the 1980s — into the dedicated anti-US terrorist that he is today. Osama Bin Laden’s rant is all about Imperial America.

This Mr. Hyde character of the US is what enables them to easily forget that Filipinos fought and died for the US war with Japan. That was not our war. That was a war of the US but more Filipinos died here than Americans.

What did the US do after Japan, the enemy, was defeated? Our poor war veterans remain unrecognized and uncompensated. Instead of pouring US resources to help us rise to our feet after World War II, they poured all their efforts and energies into helping Japan, the once enemy, to emerge as an Asian economic titan.

While the US was putting all the resources needed to get Japan back to its feet, the Mr. Hyde character of the US imposed on their Filipino allies a Parity Rights Agreement that opened Philippine natural resources to exploitation by American businessmen.

This Mr. Hyde character of the US is what accounts for their current interest to promote a Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE) in Mindanao even if that will mean a dismemberment of Philippine territory.

Really, if you think logically, Filipinos ought to declare war against the US because following historical precedent we stand to gain more than if we remain their trusting friend and ally.

On the hope that a Barack Obama presidency could mark the shelving of this Mr. Hyde grotesque character of the US and the emergence of a fair and loyal character of America, Filipino-Americans should vote for Barack Obama on Tuesday.

  Previous Columns:

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Election lawyer: PCOS critics should put up or shut up

All Excited by Pope Francis

A great disservice to P-Noy

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