President Trump: It’s too early to predict

And finally, it happened! An outsider has occupied the White House.

After a bitter election campaign that was a first in several things including verbal duels and mudslinging, Donald Trump finally triumphed over Hillary Clinton and both Democrats and mainstream Republicans.

For him, was it a dream come true? Had he ever imagined that he would be standing in front of the tops guns of the ruling American political elite, addressing a huge crowd, berating past politicians and officials and giving a talk which could well be characteristic of a populist leader in a country far from the United States?

His speech, punctuated by pauses, was measured and meant to be devoured by a public not only in the United States, but across the globe. He was on the mark at times, such as when he stated that patriotism leaves no room for prejudice. He openly focused on the gap between Washington and the country and said he wanted to bridge that canyon.

The new president’s reference to the international arena was mainly in the context of bringing jobs back to the US and making America great again. Many people in all corners of the world continue to wonder what that means

Khaled Almaeena

Skepticism and hope

His appeal to unite the country was received with both skepticism and hope. However, in his short speech he did not specify how he would attempt to achieve that objective.

There are many minority groups in the United States that need help. They are also apprehensive as a result of past election sloganeering and the appointment of individuals thought to be callous in their attitude toward minorities.

The new president’s reference to the international arena was mainly in the context of bringing jobs back to the United States and making America great again. Many people in all corners of the world continue to wonder what that means.

The other international reference was to eradicating “radical Islamic terrorism.” Many secular and liberal Arabs thought this remark was unnecessary. He could have just mentioned terror groups in the Middle East.

Well, over this weekend in the United States over lunches, dinners and drinks and even across the globe, people will be trying to figure out what to expect from the Trump Presidency. My advice to them is: Enjoy the weekend. It’s too early to predict.

This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on January 22, 2016.
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Khaled Almaeena is a veteran Saudi journalist, commentator, businessman and the editor-at-large of the Saudi Gazette. Almaeena has held a broad range of positions in Saudi media for over thirty years, including CEO of a PR firm, Saudi Television news anchor, talk show host, radio announcer, lecturer and journalist. As a journalist, Almaeena has represented Saudi media at Arab summits in Baghdad, Morocco and elsewhere. In 1990, he was one of four journalists to cover the historic resumption of diplomatic ties between Saudi Arabia and Russia. He also traveled to China as part of this diplomatic mission. Almaeena's political and social columns appear regularly in Gulf News, Asharq al-Aswat, al-Eqtisadiah, Arab News, Times of Oman, Asian Age and The China Post. He can be reached at kalmaeena@saudigazette.com.sa and followed on Twitter: @KhaledAlmaeena.

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