My Take on the American Presidential Elections
The American Presidential Elections are over, and Barack Obama has secured a second term. Having followed the elections from distance, here are some remarks I have. These points reflect my perspective as a Palestinian and as a Christians:
- Americans should appreciate the freedom and democracy they have. Other nations in the world are struggling to have such a privilege. In addition, Americans should be proud that they elected (and reelected) a president from an ethnic minority.
- With that said, would American politicians please stop calling America “the greatest nation on earth” or the “greatest country in the world”. This comes across as very arrogant in other parts of the world. I mean, have some modesty please!
- As a Palestinian, I continue to wonder: why does all this talk on freedom and democracy stop when it comes to the Palestinians? Don’t we too deserve this right to have freedom and statehood? Some consistency please!
- Americans should not be surprised to know that most people in the Middle East and indeed the rest of the world favored Obama. Romney came across as too aggressive, stressing power over respect. For me as a Palestinian, Romney’s dreadful analysis of the Palestinian Israeli conflict was scary to say the least, and I must admit that I was a bit relieved that he lost. Not that Obama's foreign policy record is a major upgrade. He still conducts drone killings, and his position on the Palestinian situation is disappointing, to say the least.
- I applaud the enthusiasm and involvement of American Christians in the political arena. I wonder however if they are too invested in making a difference through political means, rather that being engaged in their societies. The transformative message of the Gospel, when preached and applied holistically, can solve many issues related to poverty and even abortion – more than politicians can achieve. My advice to my American Christians friends is to channel their spirit filled energy in the right direction.
- American Christians who supported Romney based on moral and biblical values have to expand their definition of morality and biblical values. I suggest that in addition to family and marriage values, and rejection of abortion, that they include opposition to war and care for the poor. It’s all part of loving our neighbor as ourselves.
- I am still amazed that Americans are not able yet to go beyond the two party system. The world we live in is to so diverse. Having a worldview that sees everything as two apposing poles is too simplistic.