It’s election week in the United States. I am an American. The election is hot news, not only in the United States, but all over the world. These are all facts. Even with all of these facts, I have had little to say in regards to the US Presidential Election. Over the past few months, I have regularly gotten e-mails from readers asking me why I have not addressed the subject. Some have even asked me why I haven’t “endorsed” a candidate for the US Presidency. So, with the election happening within hours, I figured I would address the subject, but perhaps in a different way from what some might expect.
OK, the big question that I keep hearing from people is this – “Who are you supporting to be President of the United States?” The answer to that question is something I have struggled with over the previous months, but I have come up with an answer, and am ready to share it with you.
Who do I support?
Frankly, I don’t see either of the major candidates who gets me excited, or who’s policies I can get behind. I see pluses with each candidate, and I see negatives with each as well. I have come to the conclusion that overall, I don’t think it matters greatly which candidate is elected. On some issues, I would think that one would be better than the other, but on other issues, I think that the other candidate would be better. Thus, I have decided to remain undecided.
I think that a big part of the reason that I cannot commit to one candidate or the other is that I am an expat. I have not lived in the United States for more than 8 years now. I have not even visited the United States in that time. About the closest I have come to the USA in the last 8 years is a telephone call to family or friends there. Because of my absence from the United States, I think that the issues that are of concern to me are different than what most Americans are concerned about. Certainly, neither candidate has addressed the issued that concern me.
I do not believe that either candidate has policies that will benefit my new home any more than the other. At least, nothing has come up in the campaign that would lead me to believe that one candidate or the other has much interest in policies that would benefit the Philippines at all.
Now, I am sure that some of you are thinking that I am being short sighted, because the election is about more than the Presidential race. After all, the composition of the House of Representatives and the Senate will also be decided! However, as an expat, I am not eligible to vote in any race, except the election of the President and the Vice President of the United States. Having no residence in the United States means that you become eligible only to vote in Nationwide races, and there are only two offices that are nationwide – President and Vice President. So, even if I wanted to, I could not vote for any other offices, except for the two mentioned.
So, because of my inability to see any real reason to get behind either of these candidates, I have chosen to remain relatively silent on the subject. It simply is not a topic that I have a great interest in this year. That is kind of suprirising to anybody who knows me well, because since I was about 16 years old, I have been active in politics and campaigns, working in grass-roots organizations in every election season for the past 30 years. Not this year, though.
Although time can change a lot of things, ideas and attitudes, I already have my eye on somebody for the 2012 or 2016 race, though.
Whoever wins the election on Tuesay, I do wish the best for my country. I am ready to support the President as best I can, regardless of who the winner is. I hope that the real winner is not Obama or McCain. I hope that the real winner of this election is the American people.
Sidenote: The comments section will not be allowed to be turned into a campaign area, no badmouthing one candidate or another. I would prefer to keep the comments focused on expat voting and that sort of thing. No name calling and such, because I will delete those comments. That’s not what this site is all about. There are plenty of “Politics Sites” where you can easily get into heated discussions, not here, though. Thank you for exercising self-control on this matter.