"It's been said repeatedly that we—all the citizens of the world—should have the right to vote in the election for president of the United States. After all, whoever he is, his decisions will affect our lives."
That's what Carlos Fuentes, Mexico's premier man of letters wrote recently. [Presidente Obama, By Carlos Fuentes, el Siglo de Torreon, Oct. 20th, 2008]
(Several years ago, Fuentes also boasted about the "silent reconquista" of the United States. (See my "Spanish and the New Conquistadors" )
Should the whole world have a say over who our next president is?
If that were the case, it looks like Obama would be the winner.
UN delegates from various countries were recently polled by the Washington Post. Obama was the clear leader. It figures.
The Gallup organization has been also polling throughout the world, and reported that "World Citizens Prefer Obama to McCain by Nearly 4 to 1":
"Gallup Polls conducted in 70 countries from May to September 2008 reveal widespread international support for Democratic Sen. Barack Obama over Republican Sen. John McCain in the U.S. presidential election. Among these nations, representing nearly half of the world's population, 30% of citizens say they would personally rather see Obama elected president of the United States, compared with just 8% who say the same about McCain. "
However, although Obama beats McCain among those with an opinion on the matter, "At the same time, 62% of world citizens surveyed did not have an opinion."
Not only that, but
"World citizens are more divided over whether the outcome of the U.S. election makes a difference to their country, with 31% saying it does and 21% saying it does not. Moreover, 49% of those surveyed did not have an opinion."
In other words, many people in the world don't really have an opinion on the matter, but among those who do, Obama wins.
The Bush administration's approval ratings are higher in Sub-Saharan Africa than any other world region. Nevertheless, Gallup says, Obama is beating McCain there as well:
"When asked between March and August 2008 who they personally would rather see elected president, a median of 56% of Africans surveyed chose Democratic candidate Barack Obama, while a median of 9% chose Republican candidate John McCain. This is despite sub-Saharan Africans' relatively high approval of current U.S. leadership compared with all other regions in the world."
Support for Obama was highest in East Africa, 76% in Tanzania and Ethiopia, 85% in Uganda, and 89% in Kenya, the home of Barack's late father.
So did McCain beat Obama anywhere? In Pakistan the two candidates tied 5 to 5 (indicating neither is very popular there). McCain edged out Obama in the two Southeast Asian counties of Cambodia (9 to 4) and Laos (25 to 24). And he beat Obama in the Philippines (28 to 20) and Georgia (23 to 15). (That's Georgia in the Caucasus Mountains, not Georgia U.S.A., where McCain trails Obama by one percentage point in the latest poll.)
As for neighbors Canada and Mexico, possible future partners in a North American Union, Obama beats McCain there as well. In Canada 67% of those polled voted for Obama, 22% for McCain, and 11% didn't know or refused to answer.
In Mexico Obama beat McCain 27 to 9. However, the majority of Mexicans polled (64%) didn't know or refused to answer:
"In Mexico, the ratio of supporters between the two candidates is similar at 3-to-1 in favor of Obama; unlike Canadians however, most Mexicans—63%—do not venture an opinion at all. This is in part a function of Mexicans' lower average socioeconomic status and education level; for example, 76% of Mexicans with elementary education or less say they don't have an opinion about the U.S. election, versus just 35% of those with a four-year degree who say the same. However, Mexicans' lack of responsiveness may also stem from the fact that only 34% feel the U.S. election outcome will make a difference to their country, while 37% say it will not. Among Canadians, three-fourths say U.S. residents' choice of president will make a difference to Canada, while just 22% disagree."
The results from Mexico were similar to those of Latin America as a whole:
"As in global regions more distant from the United States, high percentages of those in Latin American countries surveyed in August and September did not express a preference when asked about the outcome of the U.S. presidential election. However—again, as in other regions worldwide—Sen. Barack Obama received considerably more support than Sen. John McCain among those who did offer a preference."
This is interesting, given that McCain, who was actually born in Latin America (in the Panama Canal Zone when it was U.S. territory), has spent his whole political career pandering to Hispanics. In fact, the man seems perfectly willing to turn the U.S.A. into a northern appendage of Latin America.
But despite all that, most Latin Americans either reject his candidacy or are indifferent to it. Even American citizen Hispanics prefer Obama by a wide margin.
In Mexico itself Obama is the favorite. During the primary season, Hillary was the favorite in Mexico. But as I predicted when the race became Obama vs. McCain, Mexicans chose Obama. In fact, several months ago, I was talking to a Mexican who believed that Obama already was the president!
According to a poll posted on the website of El Universal, Mexico's paper of record, the question was posed "If you could vote in the next election to choose the president of the United States, for which candidate would you vote?" Obama won with a plurality of 33%, McCain had 8%, 15% of respondents responded with "Nobody", 11% said they wouldn't vote, and 33% said they didn't know.
In a BBC poll, a majority (54%) of Mexicans polled preferred Obama, with 16% choosing McCain. A political cartoon I saw in the Mexican media actually portrayed George Washington wearing a "vote for Obama" t-shirt.
Yes, Obama is definitely the favorite in Mexico, especially among those who follow the news more closely. (Much of the news about the U.S. in Mexico is translated from the U.S. Mainstream Media, after all).
Nevertheless, there's another point of view that it's irrelevant who the next president of the U.S. is. An El Universal editorial published Oct. 16th (after the last debate) is entitled "Con Obama o Con McCain" (With Obama or McCain) and asserts that the U.S. and Mexico are so interwoven that it just doesn't matter who wins.
In speaking of the importance of U.S.——Mexican relations, the editorial argued that
"It's not just for the 3,141 kilometers of border, the shared oil fields, the common threat to our security, the migration and international commerce of 300 billion dollars, but the slow and incessant demographic integration of both countries. Twelve million Mexicans live north of the Rio Bravo…A million Americans reside here … We [Mexicans] are accustomed to hamburgers, hot dogs and pizzas, and there [in the U.S.] they enjoy tacos, burritos, nachos and jalapenos. We applaud Madonna and there they sing mariachis and listen to corridos, even in special tours organized by the Smithsonian Institute. Spanish is the second language of the United States, with 45 million Spanish speakers, as here English is [the second language]…
"…It doesn't matter who was considered the winner of last night's debate."
Actually, this is a very valid point. The U.S. and Mexico are becoming more integrated—economically, politically and demographically. Both Obama and McCain are itching to award an amnesty to millions of illegal aliens. Both support the creeping bilingualization and Hispanicization of the U.S.
From the perspective of the U.S. National Question as it relates to Mexico, it may not matter much who wins this election.
No matter who wins it, Americans at the grassroots have a fight on their hands to defend their nation's sovereignty—and its very existence.
American citizen Allan Wall (email him) resides in Mexico, with a legal permit issued him by the Mexican government. In 2005, Allan served a tour of duty in Iraq with the Texas Army National Guard. His VDARE.COM articles are archived here; his Mexidata.info articles are archived here and his website is here.