The residents of my home met the victory of George W. Bush with varied responses. My mother and grandmother, solid Republicans, cheered, laughed, danced, and cried. ("Congratulations are in order, mother," my mother rejoiced gleefully.) Meanwhile, Cathy and I sat dejected on our bed, wondering what went wrong with the Kerry campaign.
Thousands of miles away from the American mainland (or even Hawaii), we are not even specks of dust on the American political landscape, but there are many repercussions that come with a Bush victory that send eerie chills down my spine. The largest of all, naturally, is what may happen to the Filipino-American relationship given our pullout of troops from Iraq a few months earlier to save a Filipino hostage, who was freed after the pullout (hey, terrorists can keep their word!). No matter how staunchly Philippine President Gloria Arroyo defends her loyalty to Uncle Sam and Dubya, how the President-elect will treat Ms Arroyo and our nation hangs up in the air. The general feeling in Manila is standard: Mr. Bush holds a grudge against our tiny island nation for pulling out our 55 troops.
That's right, 55. And the nation wonders: will Mr. Bush hold the country in spite? Will he continue to treat the Philippines fairly (the word "fairly," of course, open to definition)? What have we to defend ourselves if and when the honorable gentleman from Texas decides to sever ties with the only predominantly Jesus-believing nation in Asia?
Mr. Bush's Christian ethics and values may have been lifted to high heavens so much during the campaign that even Saint Peter himself would have agreed in principle that the President-elect stood on firm ground for the wedge issues that America found itself weighing upon in the deliberation of whom to vote for president (gay marriage, stem cell research, terrorism). However, there is no black and white in politics, and Kerry's flipflop attitude mayn't have won him many votes, but I still think that Mr. Bush did not make the world a safer place when he chose force as the only available solution to Iraq's woes. The WMD's have still not been found, just like Osama Bin Laden, Bigfoot, and Nessie. Take your pick of which among the four are not figment's of man's fertile imagination.
There is a difference between indifference and showing love through force, and my blog is not the place to debate such differences. These are, after all, just my thoughts, with no impact whatsoever on the millions of Americans who continue to live their lives, peacefully unaware of how America impacts the rest of the world, and blissfully ignorant of what kind of signals they send out when they re-elect a president who, apparently, is not held in high regard by a number of countries. Will it ease world tension, or bring us closer to the Apocalypse?
Dubya has his work cut out for him. He must truly work to bring back the international community's respect of America. In this regard, I pray for him, because peace on earth can be possible, and with a Christian like Bush at the helm, the traveling will be difficult but doable.
Update: I may have some visitors coming over from Bene Diction. Thanks to my esteemed friend and Christian Blogger of the Year for the heads-up (I'm smart and sassy? Wow, best compliment all year!), and welcome to all new visitors. Not the best post for you to read for your first time, but welcome, y'all. May God bless you immensely.