Video: This is the moment we begin to heal the earth – Part 1
June 4, 2008, 1:35 A.M here in the Philippines was a historic afternoon in America. In the middle of a panel discussion in the right-wing Fox TV, a surprise pop up alert said Obama Clinches the Nomination – AP. Big news. The mode of the discussants suddenly changed. Even while voting in Montana and South Dakota went on, no one in the panel, not even the anchor cast doubt on the AP release. After all, AP is Associated Press. Fox TV is doggedly pro-McCain and, to a large degree pro-Clinton if fitted against Obama, and often spews out oblique anti-Obama innuendos. Not this time. A black panelist said her 90-year old mother will not only be elated but shocked because she was not expecting this event to happen in her lifetime. The male field reporter still had Obama 37.5 delegates short of the 2,118 magic number but admitted that AP might know better and called the event historic. For the first time, an Afro-American is the Presidential nominee of major U.S. political party. AP has been diligently keeping track of counts of superdelegate committing to Presidential contenders and apparently had advanced data. The discussion then turned to speculations on what Hillary Clinton would do and say next. A footage showed orchids flooding into the Clinton residence from supporters, read more as flowers of sympathy. The Obama camp was not yet ready to release celebratory comments.
Video: This is the moment we begin to heal the earth – Part 2
How lucky indeed Americans could be. When things are getting from bad to worse, someone suddenly emerges out of nowhere to fight against “more of the same.” Obama might have just spared the Americans from the ambitions of a calculating, entitled politician, who is prone to Freudian slip, lying and no-apology apology and is increasingly showing signs and symptoms of cognitive dissonance. Obama might have also saved the world. Clinton’s promise to ”totally obliterate Iran” if it attacks Israel reveals her subconscious insensitivity to costs of human lives elsewhere.
Video: Obama’s Nomination Speech – Ending
To get a fair interpolation of what kind of President Hilary might have been, one has only to look at the sitting Philippine president as case study. One can easily draw parallels in the characters of these women. (Nothing sexist; bad character is not gender -specific). Just like Hillary, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who incidentally is Bill Clinton’s college classmate, is not a self-made politician. She is the daughter of a former president of the Philippines, and ran and won under a salable brand. (Filipinos still generally believes that the unlamented Marcos dictatorship might not have happened if only Gloria’s father, Diosdado Macapagal won against Marcos in the 1965 presidential election). As of this writing, Hillary Clinton has just declared her openness to become Obama’s VP running mate. This is the spoiler of the historic Obama nomination. Those who propose Hillary should be Obama’s VP should better think twice. Gloria was Vice-President when her President got ousted through people power, with the help of the Catholic Church and the military. She says “The presidency is not a matter of choice; it is a matter of destiny.” Talk of sense of entitlement. After Gloria’s assumption to the Presidency in 2001, corruption quickly crept into her administration and she quickly became unpopular. There are strong evidence that Gloria stole the 2004 Presidential election with the help of military generals that she would amply reward later. She also used government funds to get her supporters in Congress elected and these supporters came handy later to thwart all attempts to impeach her. Close to 800 journalists have been killed since she became President. From top to bottom of the bureaucracy her brand of corruption gets even deeply embedded. Every major government project seems to be always tainted with multi-million dollar kickbacks: the fertilizer fund intended to benefit farmers; hog production fund, North-rail project; Macapagal Highway(a highway built in honor of her father); ZTE broadband project where her Chairman of the Commission on Elections acted as her agent.
Recently, she has pocketed the compliance of Catholic Bishops through donations from government’s gambling income. And all that the bishops could do was to sing that the Church is not wrong in accepting gambling money but will never accept donation from companies that market birth-control products. She has big negative approval rating and credible surveys show that 70% of Filipinos want her out and that Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is the most corrupt Philippine President ever, surpassing Ferdinand Marcos. In partnership with her husband, she continues to wreak havoc on the lives of Filipinos and she cannot be booted out. She simply has the Clintonite stubbornness that makes one’s brain explode.
Gloria’s term officially ends in 2010 but many do not really believe that she will turn over the Presidency to a successor in a smooth transition. At least two times, she has tried blatantly to amend the Philippine Constitution in a not so subtle bid to indefinitely extend her hold on power. And she is expected to make at least another try.
Obama’s message of change reverberates in the hearts of people around the world. He is now the symbol of hope. While the Philippines still awaits its own Obama to come out of the horizon, the soaring and inspirational speeches of Barack Obama, the soon-to-be first black President of the United States of America, should start sending chills to Gloria and her minions —all rabid disciples of “more of the same.”