The US elections is finished, Barack Omaba has won but my questions about the US electorate still linger. I cannot comprehend why despite a disastrous presidency by George Bush of the GOP, John McCain was in contention for the whole of the campaign and might have even won if not for the financial crisis that hit the US. In the Philippines, nobody will ever question, if ever elections are held right now, that candidates of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s parties will certainly be routed by a landslide. Is the Philippine electorate more discerning then than America’s electorate? Maybe it is not this simple.
I have been told that in any US elections, the GOP has already 40% of the votes sewn, whoever the candidate is. And that the Democrats will have a third of the votes locked. So that means the election is only a contest who will will the remaining 27%. I do not know if the term “independents/undecided” is the proper term for them.
But whatever, it seems Barack Obama won the bulk of the 27%. Maybe it is only here that the unpopularity of Bush and his failed presidency is reflected. So Americans are really loyal to their party or whatever that attracts them to it. But not the Filipinos. Maybe they know there is really no platform, no principles behind the promises and the posters.
But 40% is a significant minority and a strident minority at that. I do not think Obama will have an easy rule. This minority, who is used to smear tactics and spins can easily pressure a sitting president with catcalls the like of “soft on terrorism”, “throwing away American gains/interests/strength”, etc.
However American politics develop in the next four years, it cannot be denied that America is in deep crisis and its standing in the world is not firm. If the Vietnam War turned to be the US’ Waterloo after the ’50s record prosperity, I predict that the consequences of its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will bite just as deep.