Trump Surprises with Election Win

As everyone has been made aware of by now, the Office of the President of the United States will be taken over by Donald J. Trump on January 20, 2016.  Michael R. Pence is the Vice President-Elect. Trump shocked the nation with a decisive 290-228 victory in term of electoral votes (only 270 were needed to win). Interestingly, the last two times a Republican candidate has won the presidential election they have lost the popular vote (Like Trump, George W. Bush lost the popular vote in 2004).  In 2016, Trump had 59,957,338 popular votes while Hillary Clinton had 60,274,974.

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President-elect Donald J. Trump, with Vice President-elect Michael Pence, on election night.

What went wrong for Clinton

Clinton was heavily predicted to win the election so what went wrong?  First and foremost, Clinton’s support fell short from minorities. Compared to the numbers for President Obama, African-Americans, Asian-Americans, and Latinos were less enthusiastic for the Democratic candidate. Furthermore, more white Americans voted for Trump than they had for recent Republican presidential candidates.  According to Donald Trump, it was his performance in the second and third debates, the intensity of his rallies, his many speeches, and his “GREAT SUPPORTERS” (emphasis his own) that earned him his victory.

Clinton’s reaction

Hillary Clinton had a very gracious reaction to her election loss. She called to concede to Donald Trump early Wednesday Morning, just after Trump had given a victory speech in Manhattan. In the words of Trump, “She congratulated us, it’s about us, on our victory. And I congratulated her and her family on a very very hard fought campaign,”  Throughout an election filled with controversial, crude, and reprehensible actions toward each other, both parties showed each other respect at the end. Ironically, shortly before the election, Donald Trump said he may not accept the outcome of the election. It ends up being Clinton’s supporters who had trouble accepting the outcome.

In the days following the vote, protests erupted in several cities.  Thousands of people gathered in the streets of big cities such as Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Philadelphia, Portland, Oregon; San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington.  Some protesters carried vulgar signs, and chanted, “He’s not my president, not today.”

Trump’s First Steps

Thursday after the election, President-elect Trump met with President Obama.  They spoke for an hour and a half, touching on many different topics such as foreign and domestic policy, and discussing the transition of power.  Trump said he felt “encouraged” by the “excellent” discussion.  President Obama stated that “It is no secret that the president-elect and I have some pretty significant differences…We are now all rooting for his success.”  Afterwards, Trump spoke to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI), telling him that he would most quickly work towards reform of immigration, healthcare, and taxes.

A Sample of Reactions

Roxane Gay, a reporter for the New York Times, wrote an article titled “The Audacity of Hopelessness,” where she expressed her disapproval for the new president, and her disappointment with all Americans who allowed this result to happen.

For the Washington Post, Thabiti Anyabwile wrote an article called “Guess what? Donald Trump’s America is my America Too.” He describes how though he may not agree with all of Trump’s policies, it is his duty as an American to accept the outcome of the election and support Mr. Trump.

Prominent figures in the democratic party have not been so supportive of Mr. Trump. Bernie Sanders has said, “I will be damned if we’re going to go backwards and try to divide up this country again.” Sanders also criticized Trump, saying “Mr. Trump, you talked about being the champion of working families. Now produce. But we won’t accept racism, sexism or xenophobia.”

Many members of the GOP, however, support Mr. Trump. Even his former adversaries, such as Jeb Bush, have congratulated him on his win and wished him luck. Ben Carson also offered his congratulations, saying “We the People” have spoken.

Ted Cruz, one of Trump’s main adversaries in Republican primary has been extremely supportive and excited over the Trump win. He has said the election “affirms what we have long known, that Americans have resoundingly rejected the Obama-Clinton agenda of bigger government, intrusive regulation, executive overreach, and lawlessness that is killing innovation and jobs, squandering opportunity for working men and women, marginalizing our freedoms, and compromising our security.” Cruz is rumored to be on the short list for a number of prominent cabinet posts, including Attorney General. Regarding a job in the administration, Cruz demurred: “I am eager to help lead the fight in the Senate to pass the conservative agenda that President-elect Trump promised to the American people,” he said.

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