Monday, November 24, 2008

And so, Obama won

Barack Obama won. The most dramatic win in US Presidential Elections history. Most of the world rooted for him. And America did, too, as proven by the election.
I myself wanted Obama to win over McCain, though I consider myself a “Republican” because I had liked more Republican presidents than Democrat ones in US history. I don’t pretend that I support Obama because of his platform of government, no, I do not know much of his policies. I am a Filipino after all, and what appeals to us is not a candidate’s policies, but his drawing power, or “star value”. Consider this, Obama is a black – an “underdog” in white-dominated US, and boy, we Filipinos, including me, love the underdogs (though Obama was the more popular in the ratings than McCain anyway prior to the election). Although Filipinos also love the dramatic, which McCain have, being a former prisoner-of-war, it was not much reason for me to support him. Besides, it was more dramatic for me to see the election of the first black US President. No contest, Obama had more “star value” material; he can deliver speeches very well that made my skin crawl. And that is why I rooted for Obama to win; Obama winning would be more entertaining and dramatic to satisfy my Filipino political taste.
There was no way McCain could have won. There was no way a Republican could have won. Bush’s administration was very unpopular among the Americans that it made the environment toxic to any Republican campaign. That’s the first reason why Obama won. If Hilary Clinton beat Obama in the Democrat primaries, she, instead of Obama, would have beaten McCain. The USA is tired of Republicans, and the Americans turn to the Democrats for the answer (bad move?  Probably.).
Second factor was Obama’s incredible campaigning. His campaign out-spent McCain’s. He had campaigned extensively through media. He had hordes of volunteers campaigning for him door-to-door. And just look at his celebrity supporters – that factor alone could have assured his success. “Star value” indeed.
Third, of course was the “underdog” sympathy. 98% of all blacks voted for him. Many voted for him for the reason alone of being a black. And thus, being a minority, all other minorities in the US – the Hispanics, the Asians, etc. – voted for him, too.
So now ends the easy part of putting Barack Obama in history. Now comes the hard part on how he would be remembered in the textbooks. Would he be along the few Democrat Presidents – John F. Kennedy, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Harry S. Truman – that I had liked in US history? He will initially face two major problems – along with other domestic and foreign matters – when he steps into office on January.
First is the economic crisis that the US faces today. He could be remembered – along with his being the first US black president – as the leader who led his country to bounce back from the economic turmoil, or the one who screwed up and led the economy to complete ruin.
Second, US’ role in the war against terror. No matter what bad things they say about Bush, I still think of him as a strong leader. He had kept the US safe and gave back the feeling of security among them after the 9/11 attack. The US is the “cops” of this world – the country who can send military and political pressures in many hotspots in the world and all at the same time. Bush had exercised the responsibility of being a “cop” very well. Love him or hate him, that was one good thing about him – he was strong. (The American should at least be thankful that though Bush has his faults in their eyes, at least he is not like the current President of RP.) Obama also have to be a strong leader like Bush – someone that would make those terrorists think twice in planning to mess up with the US and the world. God blessed America in military power, and though it doesn’t mean he should lead the country to every war, it also does not mean he should always remain quiet when the US can do something about a crisis.
Sincerely, I wish Mr. Obama good luck and may God be with him. Our own presidential election is near as well – less than two years away. And I also pray God will give the RP a good leader like He did to America throughout their history – even if we Filipinos pick our candidates because of his or her “star value”.

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