Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Donald of Arabia


I subscribed to a few Arab-Egyptian blogs recently. Here is Issandr El Amrani’s view of Donald Trump:

“I just came back from a few days in New York. As always when in the US, I watch Fox News in the hotel room (not because I think it's representative, but because it's so jaw-droppingly fascinating). On Fox and other channels, Donald Trump is very much the flavor of the moment, as well as an unlikely early leader for the Republican presidential primary. It's a good indication of how weird the Republicans have become, and how the Tea Party crowd has turned it upside down.

“In the video above, the Donald makes some quite insane comments about the Arab world. Some are refreshingly honest, like when he says he would only go to Libya "if we get the oil", and then some very ignorant ones, like how without the US, the Arab countries "wouldn't exist". (My favorite piece of Moroccan-American trivia: the Sultanate of Morocco was the first country to officially recognize the United States in 1777). I tend to think that Trump's bizarre candidacy is a good thing, hoping that it will weaken the Republicans, but then again who knows if the alternative is that much better...”

COMMENT: I frankly haven’t been following domestic politics very much but my mostly-uninformed impression of Trump isn’t unlike Issandr’s. Unlike Issandr I hope the Republican Party can field someone I can have more respect for, but at the present time the Republicans do not seem in very good shape. They impress me as not knowing how to progress; so it may seem to some a good time to bring out the clowns.

I watched most of President Obama’s speech about the killing of Osama bin Laden and thought that if the national election were held the next day, Obama would win. Obama, whatever Liberal errors I might think he embraces, is not a clown. No president, whether Liberal or Conservative could have been more presidential. On the other-hand, I recalled the exultation that followed the First President Bush’s situation after Gulf War number 1. He was so popular it was as though he felt he could phone in his reelection. But Clinton, believing it was “the economy, dummy” was elected instead. Our present economic difficulties are likely to be with us at the time of the next election, and it doesn’t seem likely that Obama’s admiration of the European-style Welfare State is going to find favor with a majority of the voters.

But on the other, other-hand, if Obama is running against a real dummy then his presidential stature may compensate for any economic difficulties, especially if the economy has shown a marked improvement.

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