Why I admire the US president
Despite Donald Trump’s presidency having been weighed down by controversy, it is undeniable that he has delivered on most of his promises to the American people. Under constant attack from his political opponents, and amid insults from a rabidly hostile media, he has stood tall, determined to achieve his goal of making his country greater than ever.
Under such a tsunami of criticism, and faced with traitors in his own camp hungry for salacious book deals, a weaker mortal would have thrown in the towel. Instead, Trump has courageously soldiered on, allowing his incredible achievements to speak for themselves.
Like him or not, this US commander in chief is a one-off. He is not cut from the same political cloth as his predecessors. He is not versed in diplomatic-speak. His unorthodox approach to the highest job in the land was not immediately appreciated by all.
He was accused of being unpresidential by critics unused to a leader who does not indulge in flowery rhetoric or political correctness, but rather says what he thinks and does what he says. This is his gift that differentiates him from all other occupants of the Oval Office.
Trump has the ability to take decisions based on what he feels is right. He goes by gut feeling, and although he listens to his advisers and intelligence chiefs, he often sticks to his guns. I always say the mark of a true leader is being brave enough to take hard decisions despite the clamor of naysayers, while a leader who fears disapproval will hesitate and lose.
Each time I learn of Trump’s bold decisions and accomplishments, I feel glad that I gave him my vote of confidence early in his campaign, when most others had written him off. He proved them all wrong. For years, I have been saying that America needed a strong personality, preferably a businessman, in the White House, as opposed to lawyers or academics who tend to overthink. Trump’s growing successes have proved me right.
It took time for him to feel comfortable in his new role, but he has done so spectacularly. His State of the Union address before Congress was not only impressive with regard to content and delivery, it was also one of the most inspirational in America’s history, and was designed to bring Republicans and Democrats together to work for the common good. Indeed, with few exceptions, lawmakers were on their feet applauding more than they were seated.
“Victory is not winning for our party. Victory is winning for our country,” he told them. “Millions are hoping we will govern as one nation ... We must choose between greatness and gridlock.”
It is a great shame that some Democrats are more intent on bringing him down than on giving him credit where credit is due. Former President Barack Obama has a silver tongue and a sophisticated style, but Trump has done far more to improve American lives and livelihoods.
Both of Trump’s most recent speeches have resonated with me, and I suspect with many non-Americans too. Listening to his heartfelt messages to a rapturous crowd in El Paso, I heard a great patriot, a man of passion consumed with delivering the best for his nation and its people regardless of their political leanings.
He has emerged as a unifying figure, a president intent on improving standards of living for all Americans, cracking down on crime and making them secure within their borders. It is time for the doubters to open their eyes wide. There is no shame in admitting that one is wrong when faced with indisputable facts.
The US is today enjoying one of the biggest economic booms ever. The stock market has broken records.
Khalaf Ahmad Al-Habtoor
The US is today enjoying one of the biggest economic booms ever. The stock market has broken records. More than 5.3 million new jobs have been created. Unemployment is at its lowest level in more than 50 years.
Companies are flooding in, attracted by lower taxes and cuts in crippling regulations. And for the first time, the US is the world’s No. 1 producer of oil and natural gas, and a net exporter of energy. “An economic miracle is taking place, and the only things that can stop it are wars, politics and foolish investigations,” Trump correctly argued.
I agree that lawmakers should better invest their time and energy on the important work at hand, rather than waste years attempting to dig up dirt on a very successful head of state, which is causing damaging divisions and providing fodder for media muckrakers to spout speculative analyzes.
Within the social sphere, the Trump administration is investing in cures for HIV-Aids and childhood cancers, and working to reform sentencing laws that have unfairly discriminated against African Americans. Some 5 million Americans have already been freed from their reliance on food stamps.
On the foreign policy front, he has proved to be a powerful negotiator willing to take risks so as to turn hard challenges into successes. On his watch, he has flipped North Korea’s dictator Kim Jong-un from a man threatening areas of America with nuclear annihilation to someone Trump now calls his friend. The president’s threat to unleash fire and fury was an unforgettable wakeup call.
“Great nations do not fight endless wars,” he said, while expressing his sorrow at the loss of 7,000 military personnel and the 52,000 wounded in Afghanistan and Iraq. He is now intent on pursuing a political solution in Afghanistan, and will withdraw US troops from Syria once the last pockets of territory held by Daesh terrorists are liberated.
Lastly, I very much appreciate his stand against the “radical Iranian regime” he rightly calls “the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism,” which is now bleeding from tough US sanctions. “We will not avert our eyes from a regime that chants ‘Death to America’,” he pledged, while assuring Americans that he will never allow the mullahs to acquire nuclear weapons.
Nobody is perfect, and I strongly believe that Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital before relocating the US Embassy there was a grave error of judgment. We patiently await details of his promised peace plan.
Nevertheless, I would advise US voters not to lose him in 2020. At a glance, who is fit to replace him? Who else possesses his brand of courage and transparency? Trump won the election because Americans were tired of the same old faces and their polished flimflam. They wanted someone different, and they got their wish big time.
The race has started. Trump’s approval rating has soared to 52 percent in response to his State of the Union address, according to a poll conducted by Rasmussen Reports. The field is increasing daily, but if he can stick to his own winning script, he may well pull off another first at the finish line. They laughed at him once, but as they say, he who laughs last laughs hardest.
— Khalaf Ahmad Al-Habtoor is a prominent UAE businessman and public figure.