One of the things that characterized the recently held United States elections is the depth of the American people’s dissatisfaction with the Bush administration on account of its grave mismanagement of the economy and the unjust and brutal invasion of Iraq. The high voter turnout and the overwhelming victory of Barrack Obama reflect this sentiment.
At the same time, people around the world followed the campaign with excitement. Many hope that the election of Obama would bring a significant shift in US policies. The corporate media has been hammering this line aggressively.
“It’s been a long time coming, but tonight… change has come to America,” said the president-elect. Indeed, the election results proved that the US has significantly surmounted its racist past. This in itself is significant.
On the other hand, the naive hope that an Obama administration would bring change is an illusion that will be shattered in the days to come. While Obama may be the first elected black president, he will be expected to defend the interest of big business. As Mong Palatino stressed in his blog:
Bush, McCain and the Republican Party are supported by neo-conservatives, reactionaries and other unfunny elements in society. Obama and the Democrats belong to the same ruling class. Different factions of the same party. Party of Big Business. The two presidentiables have been criticizing Wall Street banks these past weeks. But after the elections, it is expected that they will be good friends again with Wall Street. These politicians will never forget the Wall Street executives who gave generous campaign contributions.
With the US economic standing shaken by the greatest economic crisis since the 1930s, the next administration will increasingly resort to military force to buttress the declining US global position.
The Democratic Party landslide will not translate to the ending of the Bush-initiated “war on terror” – a euphemism for the present US wars of aggression around the world. Obama’s downplaying of his opposition to the Iraq war and calls for intensified US military actions in Afghanistan and Pakistan even during the campaign highlight this prospect.
The same old policies will be “repackaged” to win the sympathy of the world. As The Economist points out in its October 30 editorial, an Obama presidency is useful in winning back the trust of “a world that too quickly associates American capitalism with Lehman Brothers and American justice with Guantánamo Bay.”
“[R]egardless of who wins the United States presidential election next week, US-Philippine relations will remain as strong as ever,” the Malacanang announced Saturday.
Veteran political analyst Mon Casiple adds: “US elections or its results will not lead to any fundamental change of US Philippine policy. This policy–anchored in the historically close ties as allies, bipartisan party consensus, and a lower radar profile in US foreign affairs concerns–is relatively stable…” ■