EVERYTHING around us, nowadays, is politics.

Be it here in the U.S. or in the native country.

During the height of the snowstorm while New York City was “closed,” Art Garfunkel, of the legendary American folk duet Simon and Garfunkel, walked to the New York studio of CNN and endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders’ candidacy.

He told the anchor he agreed that his popular song “America” be used by the Sanders group as theme song of a video campaign material that has been appearing in Iowa for the caucuses.

I think the campaign propaganda, in a way, helped start the momentum for Sen. Sanders.

The following lines of the song were used in the ad: “And we walked off to look for America...I’ve gone to look for America.”

Sen. Sanders is looking for America.

He is a candidate of hope.

Sec. Clinton is a candidate of change.

She has already found America.

Sen. Sanders is an idealist.

Sec. Clinton is pragmatic.

Sen. Sanders is populist.

Sec. Clinton is practicing democrat.

Sen. Sanders speaks of his judgment capability.

Sec. Clinton speaks of her experience in government.

Both candidates promise to put more money in the pockets of Americans; and to add more food on the table.

Sen. Sanders is an advocate of “political revolution,” very similar to the tradition of China’s Mao Zedong philosophy.

(But, he is not mentioning it.)

He is advocating an equitable distribution of wealth in society.

He is anti-Wall Street.

The 74-year-old senator is a proponent of what he calls “democratic socialism” where economic security of every citizen exists.

He reminds me of the political doctrine of “Kabataang Makabayan” or KM (the Maoist inspired group in Manila during Marcos time).

Sen. Sanders is using a Third World country approach in a First World economy.

That’s what makes it appealing, especially to the middle and lower classes.

But, will it translate into votes?

To us, there is an element of fear in this doctrine, especially on die-hard democrats and advocates of free enterprise and less government.

We will know the answer in the coming weeks.


The Republicans’ Donald Trump

Many of you will agree that Donald Trump is not a traditional politician.

He is a unique presidential candidate.

He speaks his mind whenever he feels he has something to say, either positive or negative.

On his negatives and insults, that is not how international politics is carried out.

International politics is for tactful people who could make compromises and come out of discussions happy and at peace.

The reservation I have on Mr. Trump is that he is used to making business deals.

He is used to making business decisions.

He wants to emerge as winner all the time.

Nothing is wrong with business.

Politics is about making compromises.

It is about two persons seating across each other in a table, with both giving in and giving out until they reach an amicable agreement.

A President Donald Trump style and emotional state we are seeing could be dangerous to America and to world peace.

He sounds like an anti-woman person.

Sec. Clinton accused him of being at the center of the “war on women.”

Above all, he is fond of making sweeping generalizations.

That style is dangerous even in everyday life, more so, in international political dealings.

My son told me the Trump style is appealing to young people as the candidate changes the rules of the game in this country.

Unless all the rules are changed and accepted as the new order of life in this nation, I feel the traditional values and virtues that made this country great should stay.

Perhaps, with some enhancements.

At the end of the day, we don’t think Donald Trump will get the majority of Americans to his side in November, if he gets the Republican nomination.

He may be an expert in manipulating people through media, but I don’t think his time has come.    

The same is true with Sen. Sanders’ “democratic socialism.”


On Feb. 3, we will remember Filipino Reporter’s late founder, publisher and editor-in-chief Bert Pelayo (pictured above with wife Erlinda).

It’s been a year since we lost him; since our community lost him.

Together with his widow, Dr. Erlinda R. Pelayo and the Pelayo children, we made a pledge to our community that we would strive to continue to be fair, fearless and factual in the manner that Bert guided this newspaper in 42 years.

We humbly feel we are living up to Bert’s vision and professionalism.

We are determined to carry on.

Eternal rest grant to Bert Pelayo, oh Lord, and let the perpetual light shine upon him.

May he rest in peace.


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