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Peru: Bloggers Provide Thoughts on U.S. Elections

The primary elections in the United States has aroused interest all over the world. Peruvian blogs are not foreign to that interest and are concerned with the subject in many ways, such as simple references, casual commenting, analysis of the situation or just by reproducing things that have appeared on the web. In this post, I'll talk about some of the original content I've been able to find about it:

Melisa Marin, a Texas-based Peruvian, tells us about her experiencies with the ongoing campaign, as well as the comparison, with quite a bit of humor, of both the U.S. and Peruvian electoral systems in her post Obama-tar de un Susto from her blog Crónicas de Tripas y Frambuesa [es]:

Ayer fueron las elecciones primarias aquí en Texas, el “pre” de las verdaderas elecciones, la pregunta es pa’ qué? que si igual nadie vota? Ni se sabe joven, ni se sabe! El tema es que esta reñidísimo entre mi zambito sacalagua Obama y la tía cachudita Clinton. Ambos están que pasan comerciales como aburridos tratando de cautivar a el voto latino, que por cierto, aquí en Texas es súper importante; hasta han aprendido sus tres palabritas en Español para dizque “dentrarle” a la Hispanidad. Por otro lado, los republicanos un tanto piconcillos, dijeron que los Latinos son muchos en Texas, pero que la mayoría son ilegales y no votan je-je! Que bueeeena!

El tema es que fuí a un supermercado y de pronto ví a gente votando en unas cabinitas con un lapicero unido a la mesa por un alambre enclenque, es decir para nosotros los Peruchos la cámara secreeeeta amiguitos!. Mi amiga Charlotte me pregunto si yo quería votar,y como consideré demasiado para explicar junto a la sección de toallas higiénicas el tema de las visas, residencias y ciudadanías, simplemente le dije que no me provocaba. Bueno la cosa es que mis ojitos buscaban como locos el pomito de tinta morada pues señores! Caracho, no hay dereeeeecho! Donde esta la tinta indeleble para no votar dos veeeeeces!, aquel científico y electroniquísimo método Peruano! además donde estaba el papelito higiénico de preferencia rosado carmesí o verde hospital militar?, ese papelito que con alevosía y desprendimiento nos lo entrega una mano amiga llamada”personero” después de la votación. No señores así no se pueeeeeede!

Yesterday here in Texas, the primary elections were held, the preview of the real election, the question is what's that for? anyway nobody votes? Don't know, man, don't know! The thing is pretty-much tied between my knock-kneed Obama and that cheated-on ma'am Clinton. They are both broadcasting boring ads trying to capture the Latino vote, which by the way, here in Texas is greatly important; they have even learned their three Spanish words in order to, supposedly, enter into Hispanity. On the other hand, Republicans in a not-knowing-how-to-lose mood, said that there a lot of Latinos in Texas, but most of them are illegal, they don't vote, ha, ha! That one was gooood! The thing is I went to a supermarket and all of a sudden I saw people voting in some little booths with a pen linked to the table by a puny wire, which is for us, Peruchos, the secret voting cabiiiiin, my little folks! My friend Charlotte asked me if I wanted to vote, and as I felt it was too much to explain alongside feminine pads, the visas issues, residence permits, and citizenships, I simply didn't fancy doing so. Well the thing is my eyes went crazy looking for that purple ink little flask, my dear fellows! Hell no, that's not fair! Where is the indelible ink to prevent us from voting twice!!!, that is the scientific and electronic Peruvian method! besides, where was the toilet paper, preferably crimson pink or militar hospital green? that piece of paper which is handed to us with treachery and open-handedness by a friendly hand called “solicitor” after the election. No man, that is not the way to go!

Carlos, better known as Peruanista, is another US-based Peruvian, and in this post: Video – Obama and Clinton have a say about illegal immigrants he expresses what he expects from the election process, regardless of who the winner is:

As a migrant in USA, I know one or two things about the tragic problem of illegals in this country. That's why I hope there may be soon a reform to that obsolete American immigration law system. Today I wrote about it in my English blog. Good thing about the current US election process, both possible Democrat candidates support a reform to the immigration law. Even the Republican candidate may support it too. But the success or failure of this true revolution falls on the hand of the American people. The candidates are talking about change, but as it has happened in the biggest human steps, a real change depends on the people itself, their communities and the leaders of this nation.

On the other hand, Nomadandrea in the post Election in the US.: Why to vote or not to vote for a woman? Opinions from two young feminists shares her views about this dilemma:

Entonces, ¿el ser mujer o el ser miembro de una minoría étnica da la garantía de un gobierno justo? Yo creo que no y Condoleezza Rice es un buen ejemplo de ello. … En ninguna eleccion se debería apelar a un “victimismo” de minoria, como es el ser mujer o el ser “negro” (o inmigrante, minusválido, etc.) pues se estaría cayendo en el primer caso en una especie de sexismo, y en el segundo ( Obama), en una especie de “endo racismo victimista” ( racismo hacia adentro). … Por lo tanto la mayor encrucijada en la que se encuentra el hermano pueblo estadounidense es el evitar tener un presidente regido por pasiones religiosas o belicistas que nada bueno traerán al mundo en que vivimos, en donde la postura de la feminista/activista pro Obama Aubre Carreon Aguilar, resulta ser la postura mas realista y objetiva, pues antes de ver el “color” o el sexo de los candidatos, se deberia ver las propuestas y en qué creen, para dar cara así a las elecciones definitivas entre republicanos y democratas.

So, being a woman or being a member of a ethnic minority assures us a fair government? I don't think so and Condoleezza Rice is just a good example of that… In no election, no one should appeal as a “victim-like” minority, such as being a woman or being “black” (or immigrant, handicapped, etc.) because they'be falling into some kind of sexism in the first case, and in the second (Obama), is some kind of “endo-racist victim” (racism inside). … So, the biggest crossroads, in which our fellow U.S. residents are in is to avoid having a president ruled by religious or belicose passion, which does not help the world we live in, where the stance of feminist activist pro Obama Aubre Carreon Aguilar, happens to be the most realistic and objective, and before seeing the “color” or the gender of the candidates, one should consider their positions and their beliefs, in order to face the definitive election between Republicans and Democrats.

José Talavera of Bloguiarquía on his post Elections in the US.: pause for the trade agreements, briefly mentions the consequences that the election process is having in the trade agreements signing process with other countries.

El libre comercio, una de las banderas de las dos gestiones de Bush, es un elemento a tener en cuenta también en las elecciones de este año. Y más todavía si tenemos en cuenta el contexto actual, en que la gran potencia parece entrar definitivamente en una recesión, y el tema de la economía es un punto sensible para el electorado norteamericano. … Si bien para el Perú no conlleva grandes efectos, si para otros países, como Colombia, o incluso una economía importante como la surcoreana.

Free trade, a banner of both Bush admnistrations, is a element that must also be considered in this year's election. Furthermore if we consider the current context, in which the biggest power seems to be entering into a recession, and the economy is a sensitive matter for the American electorate. … Although for Peru this may not represent big effects, it may for other countries, such as Colombia, or even an important economy, such as South Korean.

Journalist César Hildebrandt in the post A brilliant mind, comments statements by Nobel Prize winner John Forbes Nash about the future Democrat presidential tandem and the real Republican danger:

es evidente lo que Nash ha querido decirles a Obama y Clinton: sigan así y el “fiscal” McCain se saldrá con la suya. El matemático, que contribuyó a la aplicación de la ­Teoría de Juegos a la guerra fría desde la ultraconservadora Corporación Rand, ha llegado más lejos todavía y ha propuesto que Obama y Clinton junten sus figuras en ­una sola fórmula, de modo que la vicepresidencia norte­americana “esté asegurada en cuanto a su idoneidad”. La verdad es que cuando uno escucha a los candidatos demócratas decir lo mismo con distintas inflexiones y afirmar cosas semejantes con ademanes de otro color, existe la impresión de que este es un ardoroso debate entre una Coca Cola en lata y una Coca Cola en vidrio reciclable. O sea, el dilema del prisionero encarnado del modo más vivaz. Y es bueno que un hombre como Nash haya echado un chorro de sentido común al avispero ­inexplicable del partido que Franklin Roosevelt llevó a la gloria y Bill Clinton condujo, puro en mano, a la promiscuidad con lo peor de los republicanos.

it is evident what Nash wanted to tell Obama and Clinton: continue what you are doing, and “sheriff” McCain will get his own way. The matematician, who contributed with the application of the Game Theory on the Cold War from the ultraconservative Rand Corporation, has gone beyond and suggested that Obama and Clinton must join each other in one only tandem, “is assured” of the vice presidency. The truth is that when you listen to the Democratic candidates saying the same things with different inflections and asserting similar things with another colorful gestures, there is the impression that this is a debate between a can of Coca-Cola and a Coca-Cola in a recyclable bottle. This is the prisoner's dilemma embodied in the most lively way. And it is good that a man as Nash has poured some common sense into the wasp's nest of the party that Franklin Roosevelt took to the promised land and Bill Clinton drove, with a cigar in one hand, to promiscuity with the worst of the Republicans.

And it is interesting what reader richardaqt comments on this same post:

Que tan malo podia ser un gobierno de McCain? Siendo republicano ha sido un critico de Bush y a diferencia de él es un heroe de guerra veterano de Vietnam, y precisamente los presidentes que fueron a una guerra son los menos propensos a iniciar una. En cambio Hillary Clinton apoyo la infame invasion de Irak y no mira mal un ataque a Iran, podria ser la Thatcher americana. Barack Obama es muy idealista e ingenuo como Kennedy que desconocia el lado oscuro del poder americano, por eso fue asesinado. Realmente los democratas, que tenian todas las de ganar, debieron escoger un candidato menos polarizador que una mujer o un negro para enfrentar a los republicanos. Si MaCain aprovecha esta debilidad democrata y se distancia de Bush bien podria llevarse la presidencia.

How bad could a McCain administration can be? As a Republican, he's been critical of Bush and unlike him, McCain is a war hero, Vietnam veteran, and precisely those presidents, who have participated in a war are the ones less prone to start one. On the other hand, Hillary Clinton supported the infamous invasion of Iraq and is not against an attack on Iran. She could be the American Thatcher. Barack Obama is too idealistic and naive, just like Kennedy who wasn't aware of the dark side of the American power, and that's why he was murdered. Really the Democrats, who had everything to win, should have chosen a less polarizing candidate than a woman or a black to confront the Republicans. If McCain takes advantage of this weakness of the Democrats and distances himself from Bush he can take the presidency.

In the blog El contraataque de Woody [es] they are rather concerned with lesser-known candidates than Obama and Clinton in the post Two freaks in the primary elections:

Las elecciones primarias de Estados Unidos me provocan cierto tedio: entre azules y rojos, los pre candidatos más populares se empeñan por suavizar las diferencias y hacerse presentables entre los electores del bando opuesto (en los años ochenta, Devo satirizó esta rara manera de elegir y los nostálgicos o los que nunca entendieron a qué se refería aquella canción, lo pueden recordar o notar aquí). En Estados Unidos los candidatos punteros no buscan la polarización. Comprendo la táctica política, pero no deja de resultarme aburrido. No todo, sin embargo, es tan monótono. Hay al menos dos auténticos “raros” en uno y otro bando y cuyos nombres no son visibles: Ron Paul, por el Partido Republicano y Mike Gravel (pronúnciese “gravél”), por el Partido Demócrata. Como la información que tengo sobre ellos es bastante superficial, prefiero no entusiasmarme. En todo caso, es interesante anotar que ambos responden a tradiciones libertarias (una conservadora, otra ‘liberal’) con notoria presencia en la cultura estadounidense.

Primary elections in United States bore me: between blues and reds, the most popular primary candidates insist on softening the differences and make themselves presentable among the voters from the other side (in the eighties, Devo satirized this strange way of electing, and those nostalgic or those who never understood what that song meant, can recall or see it here). In the United States, the top candidates don't search for polarization. I can understand that political tactic, but it is still boring to me. Not all, though, is that monotonous. There are at least two authentic “freaks” on both sides and whose names are not that visible: Ron Paul, for the Republican Party and Mike Gravel (accent on the last syllabe) for the Democratic Party. As the information I have about both of them is quite superficial, I'd rather curb my enthusiasm. Anyway, it is interesting to note that both have traditions of libertarianism (one conservative, the other one ‘liberal’) with important presence in the American culture.

Well, I'll keep on looking more posts on this matter.

Translated from spanish by Gabriela García Calderón.

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