Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election day

I am anxiously and excitedly awaiting the result of this presidential election.

I voted once for a president in 1992 back in the Philippines. I was 18 years old and very excited. I even volunteered as a poll watcher. The guy that I voted for won (yes, it was Ramos).

But today it is different and historical. For one, everyone has been waiting for this day for 2 years now. I heard from BBC that many people in different countries are also closely watching this US election and most of them are hoping for Obama's win.

The truth is we did not support Obama in his bid to be the Democratic nominee. We thought he is too young and inexperienced. We believed that other candidates were more qualified. However, armed with the message of hope, he prevailed to be the nominee.

My husband and I are long-time admirers of John McCain. My husband even voted for him as a write-in (yes, you can do that here!) back in 2000. We think he is a true American hero. Lots of people outside the United States do not know that John McCain survived a 5 year ordeal as a POW in Vietnam. He suffered several injuries and grueling tortures in the hand of his Vietnamese captors. He was offered early release after a year in captivity when they found out that his father was a U.S. forces commander. He refused to leave before his comrades, and remained in prison for 4 more years. In the senate, he works with Democrats in issues like immigration, environmental concerns and finance reforms. He is a true maverick, making him unpopular with the conservative base. He does not care, though. He believes that serving his country is "a cause greater than self."

Deep inside, I am a conservative. I don't believe in entitlement and big government. Coming from a country where there is very limited opportunity for people like me (poor, no connection, average looking, and not a UP graduate), I cannot understand why some Americans complain when they have so much opportunities given to them. Success requires and deserves hard work, doesn't it? Over and over again we hear people who started nothing making it in this country through hard work. Why can't they?

However, I am not really what you call a "social conservative." I am pro-choice when it comes to abortion rights. I believe in gay rights. I am for environment preservation and universal health care.

I registered as a democrat. And yes, I voted for Obama because I believe we need a change -- good change especially in foreign policy, health care and energy policy. I like John McCain but I see him as the past and Obama is the future.

Whatever the outcome, I am proud of my adopted country for its true democratic values and grateful for the comfortable life it gave me and my family.

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