A Reflection on the US 2016 Presidential Elections

US President elect Donald Trump will have a freer hand on foreign policy than he does on domestic affairs. Awkward though. He has declared he will be friendly with Russia but tougher with Russia’s companion in arms Iran. It will be difficult to square that circle.

At Al Khawatir we disagree with some of America’s policies and agree with others. The materialism for which the USA has become a byword is a sad parody of the ethos of one people equal under God on which the USA was founded. And President elect Donald Trump is the epitome of that parody. Not that we hold that against him. It is his policies rather than his past that concern us.

America’s past, on the other hand, is glorious. The courage of their great men, like Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, and Martin Luther-King, is exemplary. They stood for principle, for freedom, for compassion, for human dignity. And to do so they sacrificed much, in some instances even their lives. Lincoln’s motto could be said to have been, “Malice towards none and charity towards all”.


It is giants such as these on whose shoulders Donald Trump stands. If he can but find it in his heart to learn from them, he may do much good. His predecessor President Barak Obama tried to model himself on Abraham Lincoln. Whatever else Obama has been, he has been a man of dignity who drove himself hard. Obama famously said, “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”

Obama was indeed a great man whatever his failings. God grant that Trump may yet become one. And he may. Nobody could be more surprised at the completeness of his victory than Trump himself. The electorate of America wished to punish the elite establishment, just as had their fellows in the United Kingdom with the Brexit vote. All in governance in the West should learn a lesson from these events, not least Trump himself. They ignore the voice of the people at their peril.

And America? The United States of America needs to have broad shoulders. This great nation is still the policeman of the world. It wants to be liked. And it will be. If it dispenses justice wisely. But for many in the world America is sick, dispensing justice unwisely and with brute and clumsy force. For many over involvement in the affairs of others is America’s chief sin. Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, these are nations in disarray. From this should we conclude that America’s interventions are always futile?


Trump is purported to be an isolationist. Obama had some inclinations in that direction. However it is not a question of being interventionist or isolationist. It is a question of doing what is right. If America under a Trump Presidency does what is right, her might will no longer be resented, and the world will be a better place.

William Morris – 14/11/2016


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