Tuesday, November 6, 2012

US Elections 2012

Why do I care, you say? I'm Mexican, not American, right? Plus, I live on a Caribbean island faaaar removed from American politics. Right?

Well, no. Wrong, actually.

None of us are "far removed" from American politics. Yes, as a Mexican, American politics have a closer impact for me than for, say, Sweden. Or Timbuktu. The amount of Mexican immigrants, legal or otherwise; the close ties (some would say too close) Mexico's economy has to the US; the importance of not just cordial but prosperous relationships between our governments... Sure, this election's results will impact Mexico immediately.

But that's not all.

The US is a major player in the global panorama. Economically speaking, in this age of globalization, everyone is tied to everyone else--and to the US.

That's not all, either.

What I'm really worried about, because it goes into the long term, into the far-reaching, is this: for better or for worse, as much as we may deny it and refute it, the world follows US policy. This may change--it certainly seems like it already has begun to--but the current reality is that the world still looks to the US for a guideline, if not a definition, of wrong and right.

Quick example: whoever is elected president tonight will be responsible for appointing the next Supreme Court justice. Roe vs. Wade is hanging on by a single vote. It seems more than just likely that the president would appoint to the Supreme Court a judge in line with his own policies. Which means Roe vs. Wade would be overturned.

Abortion would be illegal. Again.

But just in the US, you say. Yeah. How long before other "progressive" countries start getting their own pro-choice legislation challenged by activists citing the US as an example? How long before people, young people especially, start believing abortion should be illegal, because that's what the US says?

What about the whole Obamacare issue? For the first time, the US has true progressive medical security. That kind of legislation needs the opportunity to trickle down into Central and South America, cross oceans, climb mountains. No, it won't happen in four years, or even in eight, but to disrupt its course now is to kill any chance it had.

History is being made tonight. Our history, wherever we are, whoever we are. It affects everyone, even if we don't get a vote.

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