Kelsea Brewer ’17 – Inside Politics Participant
The day after the election I awoke to the news that Donald Trump had become the 45th President of the United States of America. As I scrolled through my Facebook news feed the general reaction seemed to be one of pure shock and fear. How could a man with zero political experience now be the most powerful man in the nation? Effectively capitalizing on those frustrated with the current political system, as well as voters wary of Clinton, Trump had managed to claim a victory despite his tumultuous campaign. In a surprising upset, Trump claimed Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and finally Wisconsin. Trump’s campaign promised radical change for those who felt their voices were being ignored by an untrustworthy establishment. However, his presidency could create serious changes in the geopolitical climate. Wall Street is already feeling these implications. The Washington Post noted that, “all three major stock index futures sank more than 3 percent. Japan’s Nikkei index plunged 5.4 percent; Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell by more than 2 percent. The Mexican peso — which had fallen when the Republican nominee rose in the polls during his campaign — nose-dived to an eight-year low.” Trump’s election also poses serious questions about US relations with foreign countries, the immigration crisis, and trade deals such as NAFTA. While some are optimistic about his promise to “make America great again” others are concerned about his constantly shifting policy plans. Even more are fearful that their rights as minorities, women, and LGBTQA identifying individuals will be threatened.
After news of his victory, Trump remarked, “Now it’s time for America to bind the wounds of division. It is time for us to come together as one united people.” The President-elect also spoke kindly of Clinton, whom he previously said should be imprisoned. He noted, “Hillary has worked very long and very hard over a long period of time and we owe her a major debt of gratitude for her service to our country.” While late polls showed Clinton with a small lead, she was ultimately unable to overcome the appeal of Trump’s populist rhetoric. Additionally, in smaller states where Democrats have won by a smaller margin, Trump had more support and thus obtained more electoral votes. While Clinton was no doubt a flawed candidate, she was most definitely qualified for the job and intent on making progress. Her loss was especially devastating for those hoping to witness the nation’s first female president. This election has brought our country’s racism, anxiety, and anger surrounding political, social, and economic issues to the forefront. When Trump takes office on January 20th, he will be faced with a sharply divided nation, one that is both joyous and fearful of what is to come.
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