his week we'll take a breather from the Philippine scene and give Gloria Arroyo and her minions some breathing room and the opportunity to sort out the sordid mess created by their ill-conceived Memorandum of Agreement for Ancestral Domain—or 'MOA-AD' as acronym-obsessed Filipinos prefer to call it.
Yesterday, after months of speculation, Barack Obama finally announced his choice for Vice President. For many Filipino-American Democrats, Obama couldn't have made a better choice. With his wealth of experience as ranking Democrat and present Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in addition to his sixteen years on the Judiciary Committee, Senator Joseph Biden brings a wealth of real-world experience to the Democratic ticket.
Heading into the Democratic National Convention, many Americans appear energized as they look to the Democrats to guide them out from under the many problems that are weighing them down. After eight years of George Bush, middleclass America pines longingly for the budget surpluses and economic vibrancy that characterized the Clinton years.
Unfortunately, a few Filipinos who migrated to the United States, managed to take with them some of the dismal voting habits they acquired back home. This group, generally doesn't like Obama, and resorts to gossip and scare-tactics by sending out regular email blasts to fellow 'kabayans' that paint Obama as a radical Muslim or a closet terrorist. Even worse, a small subset who must have never made it past 'grammar school' intellectually, see Obama as the anti-Christ who will lead Satan's armies—or whatever it is that an anti-Christ is prophesied to do. While laughable, such electioneering buffoonery may somehow explain why the Philippines still manages to elect the kinds of politicians it does.
For the rest of us, who have both feet firmly planted in this 'terrestrial plane of consciousness'—which seems to include the majority of Americans, Obama offers what he calls 'the Audacity of Hope,' as well as the 'yes we can' attitude reminiscent of America's past. It was the America that liberated the Philippines in 1945, and the America that walked on the moon in 1969. With Obama and Biden at the helm, it can also be the America that leads the free world in the 21st century.
Next month we'll look at Sen. John McCain, his running mate, and the Republican platform.
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