People In Government
By Francis Johann F. Verdote
Twelve voices were shouting in anger, and they were all alike. No question, now, what had happened to the faces of the pigs. The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which is which.
- George Orwell, from Animal Farm
The 2012 Presidential Election is fast approaching. Many of us sat in front of our 52-inch flat screen HDTV’s and watched indulgingly either the Republican National Convention or the Democratic National Convention. Some of us, unlike Romney, probably watched both conventions and tried to weigh both parties’ platforms. Or you watched frivolously and yelled at your screens, “That’s a complete lie” (whichever side you’re on).
We can now move on from comparing Ann Romney’s clothing apparel to Michelle Obama’s, and go back to watching TMZ, Big Brother, or whatever reality show people watch these days.
This is not a recreation of Hunter S. Thompson’s “Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail ‘72”; I am not a gonzo journalist. Not only am I not at any caliber close to being Dr. Thompson’s shadow, I am also not a political analyst, like many couch potatoes and shopaholics. Which means I’m not here to disprove Bill Clinton’s speech or to criticize Clint Eastwood’s comedic bit at the RNC.
Rather than bore you with insipid facts and political rhetoric both democrats and republicans blabber about to get our votes, a better use of our time is to point out some crazy and obnoxious voting practices within the Fil-Am community during the 2008 Presidential Elections.
WARNING: What you might see and read below are my observations from my interactions with Filipino community. These are not my words. I am merely sharing my conversations not to shame or put down our kababayans, but to hopefully educate and create well-informed Filipino voters this November.
The comments you will read might make you cringe. If you are easily offended, this article is not for you. Remember I did not say any of these. I am only guilty of broadening and opening our dear community’s dutiful minds.
- “I’m not voting for Obama because he will only serve his own kind.” – Yes, folks, you read correctly; the voice in your head that read the sentence is not lying. The first thing that popped out from my playful brain was “Which kind, the African-American, the Caucasian, the bi-racial or the smooth operator?”
Some Filipinos are so culturally attuned on judging people based on physical features that reason is clouded by how light or dark a person’s skin is. Intelligence, honesty, and dependability on the job cannot be measured on ones skin color and sharpness of nose – just take a look at Sen. Tito Sotto or former President Joseph Estrada.
- “I’m voting for John McCain because my husband likes him, and he can’t vote yet.” – Again, I am not the culprit and author of these words.
I thought to myself, “What would Susan B. Anthony think and say to her?” I should have slowly walked away from the conversation for dramatic purposes.
- “I’m voting Republican because it is a rich man’s party.” – I guess voting republican creates an illusion that low-income, apartment-renting, mortgage-ridden republican Filipinos are equal to debtless, jet-owning republican billionaires.
Let me tell you then, the Democratic Party is not a poor man’s party because there are undoubtedly corporations and individual millionaires or billionaires that support the party.
- “I would have voted democratic, if Hillary Clinton was their party’s representative.” – I’m not sure if this is a case of reverse sexism or what, but I’m thankful that the president did not come from the Clinton or Bush family.
Political family dynasties are very, very, very familiar to the Filipino people, in and out of the Philippines. These dynasties often do not benefit the people they serve.
Political family dynasties are old news in the world of politics.
- “I don’t like the democratic party. It’s a party for leftists, socialists, and communists.” – As far as I’m concerned the Democratic Party belongs to the same machine as the Republican Party that robs the American people.
The people labeling the Democratic Party “socialist” or “communist” should just turn off their TV and read a book with literary significance.
Regardless of your political beliefs, or the lack of, politics is ruled by misinformation and rhetoric. Educated and well-informed voters will find truth in oceans of lies, confusion, and hypocrisy created by our politicians in black suits and red silk ties. So come November, slide into your skinny jeans and aid your brains with your thinking hats and vote. At the end of the long day of anticipation, either you will celebrate or sulk at the results – so do not be shy to buy a drink or two.