Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The U.S. elections and Prop 8

This is indeed a year of surprises. First, it was the March 8 political tsunami in Malaysia and now, a black man would be the President of the most powerful nation in the world.

To look at it another way, it could be because the people are just sick and tired of the current administration. In Malaysia, there are corruption, racism, NEP, etc. For the U.S., there are issues of the economy and Iraq war. So it could be that it was more of a push factor than a pull factor.

I think there's where the similarities end. In terms of thinking and achievement, the two countries are vastly different. A non-Malay could never achieve what Obama did.

African-Americans in the whole country celebrated. The victory could be read as achievement for civil rights. A very quotable quote which I read was this, "Rosa sat so that Martin could walk. And Martin walked so that Obama could run. And Obama ran so that our children could fly". Wonderful and inspirational words indeed.

Obama message of change brought hope and optimism to the people. His victory is well-deserved. Congratulations to him.

Now that the election is over, another issue which also hogged the limelight was Proposition 8 in California. Proposition 8 seeks to outlaw gay marriage in California . Proponents and opponents of the it raised more than $70 million from all over the country, which is more than the federal funding that McCain received for his election campaign from federal funds.

This shows how monumental and significant Proposition 8 is. It is an issue close to the hearts of Americans which they feel strongly for, besides guns and abortion. It is either you're for or against the respective issues. Generally, the liberals and Democrats are for gay marriage, against guns and for abortion. The other side would be the conservatives, evangelists and rural folks.

The results are being closely watched all around the U.S., as California is the largest state and the outcome would have influence over future legislation on gay marriage in other states.

Of course, I really hope that Proposition 8 fails. But the results are not out yet and initial polls show that the proponents are leading. The chances are slim that it would fall through. If it doesn't, it is a huge step backwards for gay rights in America.

The fight for equality was and is never going to be easy. March on, brothers and sisters!


espion said...

For Singaporeans to fully understand the impact of Obama's election, a Singaporean has to imagine an opposition member, from the minorities, living in an HDB apartment, and taking public transport, becoming the Prime Minister.

Then this Singaporean can understand the depth and magnitude of the sense of despondency, impossibility and hypocrisy that Obama have overcome to be what he has become.

And thus the spontaneous, truly heartfelt, rejoicing and celebrations in Times Square and Washington DC, which Colin Powell described as incomparable, even to the Millennium and New Year's day celebrations. It is like the US' unseen Berlin Wall have fell. It was indeed a change like never before.

But change - genuine change, not that merely lip-serviced - is certainly an unwelcome message in Singapore.

Jaded_Jeremy said...

Think the Proposition 8 succeeded :-(