By David Chan
FOR NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY
Regarding the commentary “Is Obama a man of people,” written by Mr. Hai Tran — where he decided not to vote for a Democrat — I suggest Mr. Tran keep an open mind and ask, “Is Mitt Romney a man of the people?” before he decides his vote. It is obvious Mr. Obama cares very much about Mr. Tran’s cause and invited [200 representatives of Vietnamese American communities from all over the United States] to meet White House officials at the White House for a whole day on March 5, 2012. Mr. Tran needs to understand that there is a reason why the president, senators, and congressmen have staff to study the issues in detail before briefing the president to make decisions. I have done much lobbying myself, and found the message through staff is the most effective way. In many situations, I never [met] the senator or congressmen, and yet the issues were resolved.
While symbolic handshakes and meeting for an hour or five minutes are good for public relations, they will never get things done that way. The president can spend all his waking hours in front of cameras, but still will not have enough time to show his support for all the causes that he cares about.
Mr. Obama is the president of the United States, not of the world. His primary responsibility and most pressing concerns are to solve all domestic problems or enact foreign policies. The assistance to the 85 million people in Vietnam is a global issue, and not for the United States and the president alone. I like to remind Mr. Tran that when he became a U.S. citizen, he took a vow to renounce and abjure all allegiance to any foreign sovereignty of the past. We immigrants need to understand that America is our new land, where we will build our roots, and where our children and grandchildren will grow and prosper. Our focus should be for the best of all Americans and not just for our own group.
Do we want the United States to be divided into different groups, where Iraqi Americans stand only for Iraqi issues and Russian Americans stand for Russian issues?
The fact that Mr. Obama invited 200 representatives to the White House on March 5 is a very fair treatment to the Vietnamese community. Maybe Mr. Tran should think of the phrase, “Ask not what the country can do for you, but ask what you can do for the country.” Is it logical that just because a candidate did not address one of the many issues you want, you decide not to vote for him? Shouldn’t one check to see if the alternative, Mr. Romney, will do more for that issue first? Has the Republican side invited Vietnamese Americans to discuss this issue, or are we oversimplifying by rejecting all Democrats across-the-board for only one issue? (end)
David Chan is the principal of consulting firm Profit Improvement Consulting, LLC., and owns a small travel agency.
David Chan can be reached at email@example.com.
*Views expressed in opinion columns do not reflect the views of the paper. Read more opinions at nwasianweekly.com/category/opinion.