If I Were An American: A Saudi Nationasl's Insight To The US Presidential Elections
18 April 2016
By Tariq A. Al-Maeena
AMERICANS in 2016 are in the throes of an election year. The US presidential
elections are in full swing to determine who will be the next face in the
White House come January 2017. And as most Americans go, they will fall into
three categories. There will be some who will vote Democratic; there will be
others who will vote Republican; and there will be a significant number who
will decide to abstain from voting altogether.
In fact, only 57% of the eligible voters cast their ballots in 2012 with the
majority among them deciding to keep Barack Obama for another four years,
leaving an estimated 93 million US citizens who chose to ignore the whole
Now as presidents go, I believe that Obama has done a credible job for his
country. He restored some of the glitter that was tarnished by the previous
administration. Obama also assumed a country on the verge of financial
meltdown and turned things around for the better for most Americans. But we
are not speaking about Obama here, but rather about the face that will replace
him come next January.
Americans intending to cast their vote have choices that have gradually
narrowed down to four candidates running for the presidency today. Now why
would I care who replaces Obama? I have no voice in their political process or
any voting privileges. At best I am a sideline spectator watching the current
circus of candidates each selling themselves to the American public.
But I do care. I spent some of my teenage and formative years in that country.
I learned distinct survival skills that I have carried on till today and I am
grateful for many other things learned or acquired during my times in the USA.
But more than anything I care because the President of the United States has a
large impact on what happens in the region I live in through policies or
actions taken by his administration. We painfully witnessed the results of the
previous administration of George W. Bush and his cohorts, a government that
was hell bent on wars and mayhem and whose misguided adventurism the world is
paying a price today in the form of Daesh (so-called IS) and similar hybrids
of murderous mutants. Even my country has not been spared from the scourge of
Yes definitely I am interested in what happens during the Democratic and
Republican conventions during summer and in the results that would follow come
the first Tuesday in November of this year when the new president would be
Today, on the Republican side you have two leading contenders — Donald Trump
and Ted Cruz. Right away I am going to tell you I do not trust Cruz. He's
slicker than a used car salesman, and changes into more colors than a
chameleon. And he is not only bad for America with his distinctive divisive
edge but unsafe for our region as well. In fact he is downright dangerous as I
Trump on the other hand has been in the limelight for his outspoken views on
just about everything including his abrasive and downright insulting remarks
against Muslims. But Trump is a businessman and a pragmatic one. He is his own
man and will not be bought easily. I have come to believe as of late that he
would be a better Republican choice than Cruz once seated in the Oval Office.
He will focus on the interests of Americans first and that is perfectly fine
He said that that he as president would be neutral between Israel and the
Palestinians while Cruz openly boasted to an AIPAC audience, ''Let me be very,
very clear, as president, I will not be neutral. America will stand
unapologetically with the nation of Israel.'' Sorry Cruz, but I do not see
that as being in line with the interests of the USA. You are dangerous,
On the Democratic side, you have Hillary Clinton versus Bernie Sanders.
Hillary was previously a wife of a US president and a Secretary of State, but
she is too locked in with self-interest groups and Super Pacs to do Americans
any real good. I also suspect that with her at the helm, Americans will once
again hear the beatings of new war drums and more military adventurism. She is
too far indebted to the industrial military complex to do otherwise. She will
be serving them and not the people. She will be a bad choice as President of
the United States.
Finally we have Bernie Sanders, a US Senator and a Jew. Sanders is by far the
most honest and fair politician of the lot in that he has maintained his
stance towards the goodwill of Americans first beyond anything else during his
tenure. He does not waffle like Clinton or is abrasive like Trump. Neither
does he project a perilous uncertainty a Cruz presidency will likely usher in.
On the domestic front, he stands for the concerns of the average Joe.
Sanders was against the US invasion of Iraq. He has constantly maintained an
impartial stance on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and has even been bold
enough to criticize the heavy-handed policies of the Israeli government
against Israeli civilians. Jew or no Jew, he is an American first, and does
not encourage an image of warmongering.
In my books, the United States of America would be best served by Bernie
Sanders as the next President. And so would the region I live in.
— The author can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @talmaeena