Sunday, January 20, 2008

2008 elections

Why the 2008 elections are so important for the US? People talk a lot about the economy, oil crisis, big business, jobs, the middle-class... They talk a lot about the health care, incompetence and broken machine in Washington. Of course, they also talk a lot about the war in Iraq. But, while important, these are little pieces of a mozaic, little tidbits of a larger picture that we should not forget to look at. These elections are about the identity of America, its place in the world as a nation. It is about the definition of democracy. It is about how the US can continue defending itself as a nation against perceived and real enemies without shedding human rights, without reneging on the promise of democracy, without resorting to hypocrisy in its relations with other nations in the world. It is also about the ability to co-exist with others in the world and not impose values on other peoples around the globe. Patriotic Americans much too often cross the line from benevolent patriotism to xenophobic nationalism, which has given its deplorable fruits in these last years. We do not have to be the most prosperous nation in the world when the rest of the world is enmeshed in poverty. We can learn from other nations in things they have done better than us. We do not have to be the 'strongest' nation militarily and intimidate others, wiping out all those who disagree with us. Can we be an example? Can we be a leader? Sure. But only if we uphold the deep values that have been at the core of this country from the beginning.

So, when you are listening to all the media stories, about all the imperfections of all candidates, search and find the big picture, do some heart-searching when voting.

(Find out more here about the Bush Administration's actions in the war on terror.)

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