When America sneezes, the world catches a cold!
We are witnessing history as the US presidential elections unfold. Barack Obama is now the first African-American President. He will be facing a very rough road ahead as he leads a nation worried about economic crisis, two unfinished wars and global uncertainty. His election only signifies one thing - change! For instance, he won in areas never won by a Democrat for a very long time.
Obama scored an Electoral College landslide that redrew America's political map. He won states that reliably voted Republican in presidential elections, like Indiana and Virginia, which hadn't supported the Democratic candidate in 44 years. Ohio and Florida, key to Bush's twin victories, also went for Obama, as did Pennsylvania, which McCain had deemed crucial for his election hopes.
Furthermore, the majority seats in both houses which belonged to the Republicans will now be held by the Democrats. When Obama and running mate Joe Biden take their oath of office on Jan. 20, Democrats will control both the White House and Congress for the first time since 1994.
However, these details are no longer important to us, Filipinos. What we can look at his how the elections have been conducted, how the protagonists behaved during the campaign period till the end of the elections, how soon the winner is known.
The conduct of these presidentiables are admirable. They debated based on the issues, went to different forums where their opinions can be heard while our candidates try to outdo each other singing and dancing onstage.
We have learned to accept that when a candidate loses (even in the barangay elections) the losing candidate will automatically say he/she has been cheated. McCain, after several hours of counting, has already conceded defeat saying, The American people have spoken, and they have spoken clearly. Not only that, he also added:
This is an historic election, and I recognize the special significance it has for African-Americans and the special pride that must be theirs tonight," McCain said. "These are difficult times for our country. And I pledge to him tonight to do all in my power to help him lead us through the many challenges we face."
We have always been said to follow America's lead. We have listened to its music, danced the way it did, watched its movies, and others. Why can't we follow the way they conduct their elections? I say, we copy the good things about them and trash those that are not good.
In the meantime, we hope that the changes the election of Mr. Obama will bring will be beneficial for us, too. For after all, when America sneezes, the world catches a cold.