Shuttling between my home in North Africa, business partners south of the Sahara, and friends in the United States, I’m struck by the disparity in perception of the American president.
In Washington, from both sides of the political aisle, one hears the gravest concerns about the President of the United States Donald J. Trump’s temperament and governance, and alarm about the unprecedented acrimony between him and the American media.
But in my part of the world, there is still a glimmer of hope about Trump — qualified, to be sure — as well as continuing optimism about the United States. Africans’ feeling of goodwill toward Trump is an asset this White House should build on. His opponents, meanwhile, can work to ensure that whatever the future of this presidency, as the nations of Africa continue to develop, so does their partnership with the U.S.
In African countries aspiring to democratic reform, some of the same causes for alarm in Washington come across as evidence of the resilience of the American system. In the confrontation between the president and the media we see not a breakdown of democracy but proof that democracy works.