A time for greater political empowerment

With the mid-term elections now just around the corner, the Fil-Am community would do well to take a closer look at all the candidates seeking their votes and ask who will be of greater help in advancing their causes.

Where the needs and wants and aspirations of the Fil-Am community are concerned, it really does not matter which party candidates run under. Both the Republicans and Democrats offer much to our community such that it is the individual candidates whose records need to be carefully reviewed.

As the saying goes, actions speak louder than words. Candidates should therefore be judged based on their past actions vis-à-vis Fil-Ams. It is easy to make campaign promises and say that they support our community, but there must be proof that what they offer is more than empty rhetoric.

A candidate may be of Fil-Am heritage, but it is not impossible to consider that his or her opponent for a particular post may have done more for our community. In other words, being a Fil-Am does not and should not entitle a candidate to our vote if his or her opponent has done more for us.

When we head to the polling places this November, we must ask ourselves a number of questions: where does this candidate stand with regards to the cause of Filipino war veterans; where does he/she stand regarding the plight of undocumented immigrants; how will the candidate further empower the Fil-Am community if he/she wins?

There are those who say that the coming elections should send a message to President Donald Trump. It is difficult to agree to this since local issues can be far removed from national issues, so much so that the president may not have any true effect on the former.

Certainly there are causes that need to be addressed, such as the economy, local employment, national security, and the like.

About the worst thing we can do is to elect to office glib persons based on their impossible promises. Rather, a candidate’s future performance can only be judged by past achievements.

We can at least consider ourselves lucky that most of us vote based on issues, unlike our homeland where personalities are elected based on popularity. To this day, we still cannot fathom why the Philippine electorate has voted to the Senate so many actors and athletes, most of whom ended up as non-performing assets.

Yes, the US electorate has voted into office an ageing actor as president and another as California governor, but both Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger proved to be more-than-competent leaders.

With few exceptions, American voters have elected generally qualified men and women to high positions.

Now, it is high time that the Fil-Am voting community make its presence felt when they make their choice in November. The primary question Fil-Am voters should ask each candidate is not what we can do for you, but what you can do for us.

With our steadily growing numbers, we Fil-Am voters should now show that we are an empowered community and a potent voting bloc.