Saturday, November 06, 2004

The one with thoughts on the Bush victory

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.


Esteban said...

Well, I stand with your mother and grandmother. I am glad some morality and character stayed in the office. This are looking good after all and I am really happy. Sorry you don't agree, but I guess that is life. We all have our own thoughts on things and my thoughts are that Bush will do more good for the US and this world than Kerry could ever.

Thank you for praying for him regardless. Peace on earth? Well, that won't be happening until Christ comes back. In the mean time though, we can pray God's will for the US, your country, and the world. :)

Mark said...

I don't think the troop pullout will have that much of an effect. There's a heavy dose of nationalism in the Phillipines stemming from the Marcos era back, when the US was too hegemonic. That's going to keep Filipino politicians from getting too cozy with the US for a generation.

I'll politely disagree with your snideness on WMDs. The Iraqi WMD programs were on hiatus waiting for the sanctions to be lifted. The WMDs weren't there, but the program was far from a figment of Bush's imagination; check the Duelfer report.

Keep up the good work.

Mercedes said...

It's important to note that GMA got the red-carpet treatment during her visit to DC, and Chirac didn't get anywhere near the same response. Granted, that was before the pull-out and Chirac was, well, Chirac. But the reception she had was reserved for very close allies.

I agree with a previous poster who said that the pull out of 55 troops wouldn't affect things too much. And, yes, true peace won't come until Jesus Himself does. There will first be many wars and rumors of wars, famines, pestilence and lots of anguish as we wait for Him.

You forgot to mention one reason that people voted for W: the issue of respect for life. I don't remember if abortion is legal or not in the Pinas, but in the US there isn't the same stigma against it as I remember was existent in the Philippines, which is a pity. With W, there is an opportunity to be able to get the tide swinging back the other way.

Michael said...

Even allies can disagree, that doesn't mean they're not our allies.

From my viewpoint (hey, I'm a Texan too) the right man was elected and the value of our relationship with the Phillipines will not to be minimized by hard choices made in hard times.

Mr. Bush's Christian values really weren't played up that much in the campaign, by the Bush campaign. Many of his opponents, who tend to lump all Christians together as homophobic, intolerant, etc...tried to make an issue out his beliefs, but were thwarted because it would then open up Mr. Kerry's religious background to scrutiny, which was again something about him that tended to shift a bit...a pro choice Catholic with Jewish roots.

Really "values" were downplayed during much of the campaign on both sides, yet it was "values" that most American voters cited as their reason for voting (for both candidates).

I believe there is a lot more to the Iraq situation than perhaps meets the eye. My dearest friends voted differently than me, they are still my dearest friends.

Freedom and Democracy are our best weapons against terrorism. I wouldn't worry that Mr. Bush is going to disgard one of our country's "weapons."


Wafa said...

I think that Bush had his four years to screw up the world... he needs to scoot and give the next guy a chance.

Drina said...

Ganns, you're not the only one who's worried. Millions of us stateside feel the same way you do, and are angered by what this administration has done to the country and to the rest of the world. Bush believes that destroying a discarded stem cell is wrong (which is a fine philosophy) but destroying thousands of Iraqi children is perfectly acceptable, even with no WMDs, no connection to 911, and no threat whatsoever. He said he'd do it again even knowing what he knows now. And it's frightening.

He also promised to help the poor and the middle class with tax cuts, but though he said they'd get most of the money, the richest 1% got almost 60% of the money. And the harsh politicies that favor the rich and the white have driven more women to abortion clinics then ever before --during the Clinton years the abortion rates fell steadily, but now they're jumping up.

I truly believe if Christians (as another blogger termed it) became the hands and feet of Christ and reached out to panicked women rather than judging them and jailing them, the law would become meaningless and abortion rates would plummet. But we act out our faith by voting, not by getting our hands dirty and mercifully helping those who need it.

In four years, we'll probably end up with a million dead muslims overseas, millions of illegal abortions instead of legal ones, and the largest gulf between the rich and poor that the world has ever seen. But we're praying.

I'm glad you are too. Thanks, Ganns.

Michael said...

The richest 1 percent pay more than 60 percent of the's a specious and hollow argument.

Debating politics is useless.

If you want to change the world...change the world.

If you're a Christian you'll know that's never going to start in Washington.

Intolerance, misrespresentations, and outright lies won't resolve anything...and certainly won't convince the 59 million Americans who agreed with President Bush to "accept" others viewpoints.

If you want to change the political landscape do it by being the salt and light...

I will listen to a man who listens.