Donald Trump, a breath of fresh air among usual suspects

Until Mr. Trump held up his hand to say, I am here, the field was dominated by the Bush/Clinton dynasties

Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor
Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor
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When real estate magnate and television personality, Donald Trump, first announced his intention to run for president, he was not taken seriously. There was a tendency to think that was little more than a PR attention-grabber. Media hounds had a field day. Jokes about this larger than life character permeate social media. It is true to say that he does not fit the usual presidential mould, whether in personality, his propensity to shoot from the hip or his colourful background, but I would argue that is a good thing.

The Bushes, Clintons and Obama all fit the usual bill in terms of Ivy League educations and sterling career paths, but all have embroiled the U.S. in unnecessary conflicts at great cost to the nation in terms of lives and treasure. Barack Obama, in particular, has weakened what was once considered as the most successful economic and political powerhouse on the planet with his dithering and poor decision-making that has alienated many of America’s previously staunch allies. He may possess an unusually high intellect; he is by nature a thinker, but what the U.S. needs most of all is a fearless doer; someone prepared to put their money where their mouth is.

America no longer inspires the world nor is capable of leading by example. Obama’s critics accuse him of leading from behind. They are right! If anyone is to blame for the rise of ISIS and the confused mess which the Syrian people find themselves in, then President Obama fits the bill by default. He has worn blinkers when it suited him and, worse, when he signed up to the Iran nuclear deal, he placed the Middle East and the Gulf in grave danger from an enriched, empowered and legitimized Tehran. In my opinion, he has dashed the hopes of the Palestinian people with unfulfilled promises and, although he was once an activist in the civil rights movement, he has done little to stem institutional racism that, if anything, has risen on his watch.

They all say the right things, what America wants to hear, but as soon as they get their feet through the Oval Office door, they bin their pledges to become almost clones of their predecessor, especially with regards to foreign policy. Without exception they morph into paid up members of the establishment, throwing themselves under the influence of lobbies, corporations and big money individuals with vested interests.

There is no guarantee that a President Trump would not do the same, but so far he has shown to be his own man capable of shrugging off criticisms. Nobody can accuse him of not standing up for what he believes in a forceful fashion...and he believes in bringing back his country’s superpower status. He has guts, determination and most of all he is a true American patriot.

The American people have had enough of flowery speeches, intellectual theories and empty promises. It is time that voters began scrutinizing presidential candidates through a new lens, one that is serious, positive and objective. Americans should quit judging a man by his cover and dig deep to see who possesses the necessary substance as well as life experiences.

I believe Donald Trump could be that man – and so do many Republican voters it seems. According to a poll conducted by Monmouth University he currently enjoys a more than 2-to-1 lead over his closest rival for the Republican nomination, Jeb Bush. Concurrently Democratic support for Hillary Clinton is slipping.

Until Mr. Trump held up his hand to say, I am here, the field was dominated by the Bush/Clinton dynasties, which for us on the outside looking in makes a mockery of democracy. Candidates flush with family money, capitalizing on the family name and extensive insider and corporate connections, smash the idea of a level playing field. From either Hillary Clinton or Jeb Bush America can expect more of the same.

Until Mr. Trump held up his hand to say, I am here, the field was dominated by the Bush/Clinton dynasties

Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor

Then along comes Donald as living proof there are other options. A majority of American presidents come from privileged, insular backgrounds; many have been drawn from the legal profession; few have had any real business acumen and certainly not of the kind Trump has in buckets.

He is a strategist with a shrewd business mind and what I admire most about it is the way he has triumphantly rebounded from setbacks time and time again to emerge triumphant. He may not have a fancy family name or invites to political soirees in The Hamptons, but he comes with economic know how and strong relationships with world leaders and economic giants.

Until ‘America is great again’

Money is power, and money comes from smart and healthy economies. And men like Trump will know how to make that money. To save this great nation what is required is a businessman with a proven track record; someone who will not give up until “America is great again”. In truth, I don’t know Mr. Trump on a personal level but I know enough to be convinced he is the right man for the job.

Americans need employment, improved living standards, opportunity, loans for small businesses and investment in infrastructure at a time when entire cities have become economic wastelands. Most of all, they want to enjoy the fruits of a healthy economy. They have tried the brilliant speakers spouting idealistic promises or announcing unfeasible policies, who have failed to recapture America’s former glory.

Obama promised change and did not deliver because although he began his political career with a revolutionary mindset on various issues, he trampled over his own principles to reach the top and once there, was too weak kneed to rock the establishment boat. With Trump, what you see is what you get.

Yes he has a history of stepping on toes when he says it like it is – or how he sees it – but to my mind that one of his greatest advantages. He says what he thinks; he follows his heart on what is best for his country, no matter what anyone else thinks. He is a fighter and he will fight for America if he is given the chance. He is ruthless too. He has told the Republican Party that in the event he does not get its nomination, he will run as an independent, thereby splitting the Republican vote as a gift to the Democrats.

He said it himself. “I love America. And when you love something, you protect it passionately – fiercely, even. We are the greatest country the world has ever known. I make no apologies for this country, my pride in it, or my desire to see us become strong and rich again.”

“Wealth funds our freedom,” he has said. There has never been a truer sentence. I can only advise the American voters to reject the rich guys with fancy diplomas who have inherited famous names for someone who is proud of life’s battle scars, has overcome every challenge and come out a winner. Let us face it! America has never needed a winner in the White House as much as it does now.

Khalaf Ahmad al-Habtoor is a prominent UAE businessman and public figure. He is Chairman of the Al Habtoor Group - one of the most successful conglomerates in the Gulf. Al Habtoor is renowned for his knowledge and views on international political affairs; his philanthropic activity; his efforts to promote peace; and he has long acted as an unofficial ambassador for his country abroad. Writing extensively on both local and international politics, he publishes regular articles in the media and has released a number of books. Al-Habtoor began his career as an employee of a local UAE construction firm and in 1970 established his own company, Al Habtoor Engineering. The UAE Federation, which united the seven emirates under the one flag for the first time, was founded in 1971 and this inspired him to undertake a series of innovative construction projects – all of which proved highly successful.

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