Gulf region and the dawn of a new America
Trump is set to become part of the American political lexicon
Regardless of whether Donald Trump won or lost the presidential elections, he has succeeded in creating a new social and political “state” in the US and across the world. Trump, the rich New Yorker, has had an interesting journey in the elections so far. He defeated some well-known Republican figures and fiercely competed with veteran Democrat, Hillary Clinton. In all of this he reflected a white, purely white, American sentiment.
By the time this article is published, the results of the elections will be announced and he may have won or lost. Either way, he has arrived on the American and global political scene. Trump may end up like venerable Republican president Richard Nixon who lost the first time around but succeeded later. As far as age is concerned, he will be of the same bracket as the Republicans’ “icon” Ronald Reagan. The point is that the “Trump state” will become a part of the American political scene.
On the level of Arab world, or Gulf countries to be specific, there are deep divisions between opinion makers. There is public opinion that suggests the American president is not an internal affair and this hasn’t been the case since the first and second world wars.
Those who wish Trump wins sees in him the “stubborn” man who will uproot Barack Obama’s legacy – which is a very bad legacy for the Arab world. If you analyze his administration, Obama’s reputation is bad in the Arab world as he supports Iran and the Brotherhood. Moreover, he has allowed the chaos of the Arab Spring and let the Syrian people down.
We are in for four years of interesting times in the Gulf region. The reasonable ones are those who have taken the matter in their own hands and expect the worst before hoping for the bestMshari al-Thaydi
However, will Trump’s approach end the conflicts in the Middle East or will he eye the Gulf’s resources under the pretext of defending them as he has repeatedly claimed in his campaign speeches, particularly amid the US Treasury’s need for liquid money and fiscal deficit that’s worth trillions?
Just thinking about this leads to apprehensions. Meanwhile, Clinton has a political legacy and experience and she is part of the Obama policy’s products during the past phase. It’s true that she criticized some of Obama’s policies in Syria and other countries but in “substance,” she is not that different from him.
This is why some believe that Hillary’s presidential term – if she wins – will be a third term for Obama or perhaps for her husband, former president Bill Clinton. It’s not only Arabs and citizens of the Gulf who are keenly watching the American elections. Even America’s neighbors, such as Mexico, are closely and worryingly monitoring the situation following Trump’s threats against them.
Is it time to formulate a Gulf vision that is unified with the American world? With Clinton or with Trump? We are in for four years of interesting times in the Gulf region. The reasonable ones are those who have taken the matter in their own hands and expect the worst before hoping for the best.
This article was first published in Asharq al-Awsat on Nov. 09, 2016.
Saudi journalist Mshari Al Thaydi presents Al Arabiya News Channel’s “views on the news” daily show “Maraya.” He has previously held the position of a managing senior editor for Saudi Arabia & Gulf region at pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat. Al Thaydi has published several papers on political Islam and social history of Saudi Arabia. He appears as a guest on several radio and television programs to discuss the ideologies of extremist groups and terrorists.