– by Howard Melamed
Voting is an important part of being an American. Given the current state of events in the world, at no other time in our history has this privilege given to every citizen been more important that not to exercise it could be considered a crime against humanity. I offer to you my current perspective of what this privilege is really viewed from people in countries living in conditions that are influenced greatly by our vote.
During the past few weeks, I have been on a business trip visiting Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea. No matter who I spoke to, always on their mind was the election in the United States.
” How lucky your are” said one cab driver to me in Hong Kong. ” You get to vote for the President of the World”.
I reflected on this and thought just how lucky we really are, but at the same time look at all the responsibility we have as Americans. The responsibility of the world rests on our shoulders and as a result we should not take this responsibility lightly.
Hong Kong was literally turned over to the communist Chinese in 1997. Great Briton handed China the lease to the people of Hong Kong as if they were turning over a piece of property or worse yet slaves to their master. Hong Kong for another 44 years will remain as a pseudo democracy under an agreement that the people had no say in. In 44 years, communist china, if they live by this agreement and don’t cancel it earlier, will absorb free democratic Hong Kong citizens into their communist way of life. These people will loose what ever rights they currently have. They are not happy about it. There is absolutely nothing they can do. They are depending on the United States to somehow defeat communism in the next 44 years so that they can live as free people. Here in Coral Springs, all we have to worry about is what time we need to be at the polls to vote.
Taiwan is another country living on borrowed time. Since Chang Hi Chek took this country over when the communist came into power in China, they have been at odds with the Maoists in Beijing. When I flew into Taipei, Taiwan’s capital and largest city, the plane approached the island from its western shores, over the Formosa Strait. Below just a few hundred feet from the beach you can see the runway where Taiwan’s fighter jets lie beneath concrete reinforced bunkers. Always ready to scramble should China decide to take over the country. I counted maybe 30 bunkers , or perhaps it would be 100 jets. How would they really do against a battle with China?
“7 minutes” said one of the Taiwanese businessmen that I met with. ” 7 ,minutes for the Chinese Fighters to reach our shores and blow us away”.
Taiwan has an army, navy and air force, but they are realistic. Although they will fight for their freedom, they know they are no match against the massive power that China can place their way. The only hope for these people is the support of the United States. The only friend they really have is us. We stand in the way of China and free people, once again. In Coral Springs, all we have to do is decided whether or not we are going to take a few minutes of our busy work day and go out an vote.
South Korea is a beautiful mountainous country, with 50 million people living in freedom guaranteed to them by the support of the United States. North Korea is a constant threat to their survival. North Korea has nuclear weapons that at a moments notice can change the way the South Korean country side looks. South Korea depends on the United States and is always concerned during elections. Will the policies of the US President change to put them in greater danger? Will we give them up in exchange for peace with North Korea?
The United Nations was here in the Korean war, but there are few UN troops here as most pulled out leaving the brunt of the defending position to the United States. South Korea has a formidable army, and every man has to spend at least 2 years in the army. We have 36,000 troops here and jointly defend the Demilitarized zone. You can even take a tour to the DMZ as tour companies offer morning and afternoon tours a few hours from your hotel in Seoul, the capital of the country.
“Don’t be scared” the tour pamphlet says ” even with such unstable conditions, we guarantee to bring you back safely”.
Can we guarantee their safety? That is the responsibility we have in this world of ours…and theirs. There are a lot of people that depend on us and a lot at stake. They have to worry daily about living. All we have to worry about in Coral Springs, is going out and voting.
I suggest that on November 2, when you decide whether or not you feel like voting, consider that you are really voting for the president of the world. Consider that your vote is about the most important thing you can do for those people not fortunate enough to wake up in our country. I know that when I go an vote, before making my decision on who will be President of the World, I will close my eyes and say a little prayer of thanks that I live in this country and have been given the opportunity to express my freedom. Then I will cast my vote knowing that the world is depending on us.
VOTE ON NOVEMBER 2.