I am a Kashmiri Muslim who is passionate about the amelioration of the human condition. My passion or even ambition made me wander around the world – especially the Western world. From Australia to Europe to the United States, the stark realization and reality that hit me repeatedly was the indispensability of the United States to the world. Be it peace in as far as the Antipodes, the well being of poor people in places like Bangladesh, Britain’s place and stature in Europe (Brexit or not), continued peace in Europe, the continent’s post war recovery, peace between nuclear armed arch enemies and adversaries, India and Pakistan and hence South Asia, to cite a few examples, the United States writ was large everywhere. By omission and/or commission, the United States has underwritten a peaceful and prosperous world order. This, I believe, accrued because the United States was both sure of itself as well as open to doubt. This vacillation between healthy self doubt and quiet confidence did not merely emanate from the country’s power but from its very nature. And it was this nature of the United States that led to peace within and without.
Alarmingly, these qualities of self doubt and confidence are being sought to be upended and undermined by forces who want to reduce the United States to a caricature. These forces are personified in the persona and rhetoric of Donald Trump. If the United States falls victim to the blandishments of these forces, the United States that we know – a beacon of hope within and without- will come to an end. The peace and prosperity underwritten by the country will be replaced and supplanted by conflict, misery and depredation in the United States and outside it. It is self evident that if there is peace and prosperity without, there will be peace and prosperity within.
Yes: there have been problems – deep and wide – of a structural nature in the United States. From the aftermaths of wars, economic and financial crises, social and racial issues, the country has not has never had it easy. But, by dint of its inherent strength embedded in the vitals of the United States, the country emerged, shining and smelling of roses. Barring a few blemishes and hiccups, the United States has withstood, seen off and overcome challenges that came in its way. Key here, which bears repetition, was and is the reservoirs of strength of Americans and its inherent inner strength and resilience. The problems that the United States has been facing and is in the throes of, while admittedly are severe are but a transitory phenomenon. If I may take recourse to a Sufi saying, I will posit that, “this too will pass”. There then is no need to succumb to simple minded, simplistic populism that promises a magic wand and a panacea to these problems. No: Trump does not have a magic wand. All he has is beguiling bluster which if translated into practice will regress the United States and therefore, by extension the world.
The historical role that falls on the United States – which has led to peace and prosperity within and without and which serves as an example for the world- has to be reclaimed. The American Dream has to be reclaimed. It is here that redemption lies for the United States; not in naive populism and its beguiling and deceptive blandishments. It is not in Trump’s vision but its alternative that can help recovery in the deepest and positive send of the word of the United States. This alternative lies in Hillary Clinton being POTUS. Yes: she has failings but don’t we all? Yes: she employs reason against rhetoric but shouldn’t we all?
The historical role that falls on the United States – which has led to peace and prosperity within and without and which serves as an example for the world- has to be reclaimed. The American Dream has to be reclaimed. It is here that redemption lies for the United States; not in naive populism and its beguiling and deceptive blandishments. It is not in Trump’s vision but its alternative that can help recovery. This alternative lies in Hillary Clinton being POTUS. Yes: she has failings but don’t we all? Yes: she employs reason against rhetoric but shouldn’t we all?
The United States has made mistakes in the past and will make mistakes again. This is normal in the life and trajectory of nations but what makes nations great is learning from mistakes and articulating bold and beautiful futures. If the United States votes Trump, it will be negating its own nature and betraying a vacillating commitment to its founding principles. It is about time for all Americans to affirm the nature of their country, pledge to learn from the past, reaffirm faith in the Republic and make a fresh beginning. The route to this rejuvenation lies in Clinton being POTUS.