Friday, October 31, 2008

U.S. Presidential Election 2008....just some thoughts...

Well, unless you are living in a cave without TV or internet, you should have been bombarded by the U.S. presidential campaign in the past few months and it has been intensified in recent weeks as Nov 4 is approaching. With many people are worrying about their financial well-being these days, looking for silver-lining of this financial black hole has become a national pastime for some people. Yes, there are other things going on: the Word Series, Halloween shopping and decoration, etc, but the election as an once every four year event has a special meaning this time. Regardless you are far away or not, in spite of the declining of the U.S. as the world hegemony, it IS STILL the World’s only superpower. So, who will become the leader of this country in the next four years still matters in many aspects. With the wars and recession that are going on, many average Joes and Janes do want to have someone to look up to for guidance or comfort in such difficult time.

For me, by playing the role of devil’s advocate, I don’t think it really matter who will be elected. Cos, what they have said won’t be translated into actions that can produce significant effects anyway. The U.S. political system is not perfect, but it works somehow for centuries. However, in these days, in particular, politicians, most of them, are somewhat like the CEOs of many companies. They only care about the quarterly return and stock prices, so they can remain in power and get their fat checks. For politicians, they only care about their voters and special interest groups, particularly the latter that got them in office. Do they care about the long-term well-being of their district or the country as a whole? Well, they sure will say they do, but actually you want see that from their actions when there are conflicts in choosing what is good for them and what is good for the country. Presidents are no different, just the interest groups that can tilt the election one way or the other are just bigger and more powerful. So, whoever got elected, it is payback time! Also, there are many committees behind that really pull the strings. Those are the people who really rule the U.S. which in turn affect the life of millions around the world. You think American troops would in Iraq just because Bush wanted it? If you do, go back to watch Oprah and SNL then.

Therefore, President Obama will provide some freshness to the national media and to the public. We will know what will be the first pet, Obama’s favorite tunes, cuisine, movies, etc. Same thing for the first lady, first family, etc. But, to the lives of regular folks, same o same o. The Medicare and Medicaid reform, Social Security problem, national debts, trade deficits, war on terror, war on drugs, etc, they won’t go away. The problems of this country are just too big to be solved by a new president with his new cabinet. Spin docs can spin all they want, the depth of those problems are not going away. The President will keep talk and talk with rheorics, liking campaigning all the time, but he will keep his eyes on 2012. If he is eating his lunch, he will try to stay for dinner, regardless, he will say thank you very much, and the bill will stay behind for the next. Yes, he will take on W.’s humungous bill, he may trim a bit every now and then. He will put those numbers back up and up during the payback time. U know what I mean?

So, what can be done? If I know, I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing then. I just want to say that President MaCain or President Obama can’t solve the problems the U.S. is facing. You can turn on as many lights as you can, but you can’t help the day is getting dark. Should we be pessimistic? No, we as bolts and screws of the social machine, are too small to make significant difference. Not that we shouldn’t try and shoulder our social responsibilities. At the end of the day, who our children and our family members rely on the most is NOT the President, the government, or any public figures, but us. So, just cherish our freedom to say what we can and do what we should to protect our family and our livelihood, if we can do that, we are already doing our job and we should proud of that.

As an extension of what JFK said: “Don’t ask what the Government can do for you, ask what you can do for the Government”, I would say the latter should be: “ask what you can for yourself and your family.” Nough said. Peace! And God bless us all!

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