In less than two weeks, many Americans of voting age around the country will come out and exercise their rights to vote for the next American President. During this election period, like in the past, VOA-Lao Service has interviewed members of Laotian- American communities, Democratic and Republican alike, about their political ideas and their choice of presidential candidates. This week we are proud to present the voices of two prominent Lao-Hmong Americans.
Fresno City Council President Blong Xiong told VOA that, in terms of party affiliation, he had been an independent for a long time and has only recently switched to the Democratic Party, but his core values and beliefs are still those of an independent. When asked which of the Democratic party’s policies he likes best, Blong Xiong replied, “To answer your question, I am not sure that I can pinpoint that to the Democratic party, it’s more of what he(Obama) will bring, what we all hope for, to the presidency. His is a message of hopes and change, a different perspective of where we are, where we have been, and where we are going next. Well, at least I speak for me, the war has lain heavily for this country. I think that it has impacted us in certain level and it has impacted us of what we are as community, internationally and locally. It’s a time for a change and see what the new presidency can do and hopefully, with all the hopes that we have, there will be positive directions moving this country forward, not only economically and challenge that we currently have, but international as well.”
Chia Vang, an Assistant Professor of University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, also shared her thoughts about her ideal president: ”I’ve traditionally voted Democratic. I am really supportive of Barack Obama for many different reasons. I just think that he brings so much enthusiasm. I think he is energetic and I really like the fact that …I mean, people like to say that he is not very experienced but I think I like his domestic policies. And also people complaint about his perception on working with the rest of the world. I think that issue is very important… as America is interested in helping to build a better world. I like the fact that he is really interested in helping to make sure that all people have a good start. All kids need opportunities, especially people like us.”
These are some of the examples of the voices of Lao Americans who plan to vote in this election. VOA-Lao Service will bring more of the many different perspectives and ideas of Lao Diaspora about this Presidential Election to you next week. Please stay tuned.
Listen to our interview for more of Blong Xiong's and Chia Vang's comments in Lao.