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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 process.

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 terrorism.

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 determined.

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 see it.

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 with me.

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, period!

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 talmaeena@aol.com. Follow him on Twitter @talmaeena


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