I held my tongue, but I started thinking, "What if this nation actually did elect presidents based on their face?" Asia Carrera for president, anyone? (Well, considering that she's a porn star, I know the male constituents wouldn't exactly be voting for her based on "face." But hell, she's a MENSA-certified porn star!)
When I flew down to San Diego for Thanksgiving, my second oldest auntie and her husband (my Uncle Johnny) picked me up from the airport (my dad is the fourth oldest out of ten). While they prepared merienda (early afternoon snack) for me, they asked me who I voted for in the recent election. When I told them, my Uncle Johnny shook his head and said, "You kids nowadays. Liberal talaga." He mentioned something about how some of my younger cousins voted for Kerry. He wasn't mad, but he said all this with a tinge of disappointment.
I mean, I understand why the first generation of my family is Republican: None of us would have been able to immigrate or be born in the States had my dad not joined the US Navy (and become a US citizen through his service, thus gaining the ability to petition his family to live here). My family started out poor in the Philippines, living in the shadow of Subic's US Naval Airbase just outside of Olongapo City. As a boy, my dad used to shine the shoes of American sailors and soldiers. Now everyone is middle class in America and can afford cars for their teenaged children. And thanks to the Navy, many of my cousins can go to college (on the US government's dollar) using military educational benefits.
However it boggles the mind that my family (still speaking of the older generation) can support a leadership that is trying to enforce a backdoor draft, that wages a drawn out and expensive war over oil ("terrorism") in Iraq, that puts in place something like the Patriot Act, and allows for unethical Tuskeegee Syphilis Experiment-like testing on children in New York City. This laundry list could go on...
Many times I have wanted to sit down with certain members of my family and talk politics with them, but then the language barrier prevents me from doing so. There are certain words and ideas that don't translate. I often wonder if my family might think that someone like me is ungrateful?
P.S. - Just wanted to give a footnote salamat to my best friend Y for the BBC article link on HIV drug-testing. Triple5FunkyPinay holdin' it down!