By: Amelie Zilber ’20, David Arkow ’20, and Jessa Glassman ’20
On Election Day, Trump defied the polls to defeat Clinton in a landslide victory. Trump won the presidency with 306 electoral votes compared to Clinton’s 232. Trump defeated Clinton in many of the so called “battleground states,” while pulling off wins in several states which were expected to go for Clinton, like Wisconsin and Michigan. While very few people predicted this outcome, some of the strongest reactions to election results have taken place.
Donald Trump was elected the 45th president of the United States on Nov. 8 in a stunning culmination of an explosive, populist and polarizing campaign that took relentless aim at the institutions and long-held ideals of the American democracy. The surprise outcome, defying late polls that gave Hillary Clinton the modest but persistent edge, is triggering convulsions throughout the country where skeptics watch with alarm as Trump’s unvarnished overtures to disillusioned voters begin to take hold. After electing Trump as our nation’s leader, America is taking a sharp right turn. Here’s what we can expect from a Trump presidency and why democrats around the nation are hoping for the best and anticipating the worst.
Immigration: The changes Trump promises to bring will be swift and sweeping. While President Obama has been working to integrate undocumented immigrants into society and open the borders for refugees, Trump will sharply curtail the refugee flow, treating them as potential terrorists, and start a nationwide crackdown on illegal immigration. Trump has promised to begin construction on a wall bordering Mexico and the U.S., further worsening our debt. Redefining our nation and its values of openness, Trump has additionally proposed a plan to deport two million illegal immigrants during his first year in office.
Climate Change: This shift in Washington comes just as the U.S. has been playing a leading role in combating climate change. Trump has repeatedly denied the science of human-caused climate change, incorrectly deeming it “fictional,” and labeling global warming a hoax created by the Chinese. Trump will use his power to undo Obama’s ambitious domestic and international climate change policies
Economic Policy: Republican control over Washington sets the stage for a radical shift in economic policy. Trump has proposed a plan to decrease taxes, reduce regulation and limit trade with other nations. His plan will lower income taxes for most American households, most notably the wealthy, and he plans to withdraw from NAFTA, a proposal causing considerable alarm amongst our North American allies.
Supreme Court: Trump has promised to appoint extremely conservative justices who wish to overturn Roe v. Wade, the decision that nationally legalized abortion, as well as justices who are in strong support of the Second Amendment, which gives citizens the right to bear arms.
In recent news, Trump has considered multiple extreme conservatives to fill the pivotal roles of his cabinet and additional governmental positions. His chosen group of individuals are far right wing politicians who blame America’s most eminent issues on immigrants and encourage mass deportations, who wish to revoke citizens’ inalienable rights, and who promote white supremacy. Steve Bannon, Trump’s Chief Strategist, has been accused on various accounts of advocating anti-Semitic values, and whose news stories regularly promote racist and sexist stereotypes as well as conspiracy theories. By electing a man who rose to power through racism, our nation is heading into a realm of severe conservatism and unwarranted persecution.
Protests are spreading across the nation, and violence encouraging white supremacy has erupted due to Trump’s legitimization of the harassment of certain peoples. Those of us who are diametrically opposed to his beliefs must restrain from letting his alt-right reign over our nation divide us, and we must use our voice for change.
“It’s time for America to bind the wounds of division. To all Republicans, Democrats and Independents, I say it is time for us to come together as one united people. I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be President for all Americans,” President-Elect Donald Trump said in his victory speech.
Trump was elected to President of The United States of America on Nov. 8, a day that will change history. Going into election night, polls predicted a Clinton win and reliable forecast site FiveThirtyEight gave Trump a 28 percent chance. While Trump is losing the popular vote by about 1.7 million, he won battleground states including Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina and Arizona amounting to 306 electoral votes.
The main issues Trump focuses on are the economy, immigration and national security. Trump believes in an “America first” economic policy. Trump plans to reduce taxes on American businesses so they can operate and employ workers in the U.S. This will bring back industries in steel and manufacturing to boost the economy. Trump plans to re-negotiate NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) and withdraw from the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership). NAFTA greatly increased the trade deficit between the U.S. and Mexico over the past 15 years. With the re-negotiation or even withdrawal from NAFTA, the trade deficit could become even to where it was before NAFTA was signed. The TPP is similar, but the U.S. loses jobs to Asian countries. Trump plans a large tax cut across the board for the middle and upper class. The lowering of taxes and re-negotiating of unfair trade deals can put America back on top as an economic leader.
On immigration, Trump plans to build a wall on the Southern Border. It is unclear whether it will be a part fence and wall as Trump mentioned in a 60 Minutes interview. Either way, a strong border will reduce crime and the influx of drugs. Trump welcomes all immigrants to come in legally. Trump plans to increase military strength returning America to a global power that promotes peace.
Trump appointed RNC chair Reince Priebus to Chief of Staff and former Breitbart News Executive Steve Bannon, a right wing media website, to Chief Strategist. Trump mentioned other experienced names such as Newt Gingrich, Rudy Giuliani and Mike Huckabee, which should be reassuring to conservatives.
Democracy allows people to agree and disagree, but can be harmful when American people are not willing to compromise. Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama wished Trump success. Trump praised Clinton for her hard-fought campaign and service to our country. After the election, there continue to be several Anti-Trump protests. While protests are protected by freedom of assembly, they will not change Trump’s presidency and only create a larger divide between Americans. In a 60 Minutes interview, Trump said that protesters “shouldn’t be afraid” and that he wants to bring this country together. It is important that Americans come together to support our future president who will work to improve the lives of every citizen.
“I’m reaching out to you [American citizens] for your guidance and your help so we can work together and unify our great country,” Trump said.
Donald Trump’s victory early in the morning of Nov. 9 came as a shock to many across the country. With nearly every poll predicting a Clinton presidency, Trump’s early lead on electoral votes right off the bat left many in disbelief. Clinton does have a lead in the popular vote that is now at 1.7 million votes and continually getting larger. Trump leads the electoral vote 290 to 232; therefore, he is the winner of the election. When it was announced that he was the President-elect, citizens both thrilled and dismayed took to social media to express their emotions.
Unlike previous elections, people that preferred Clinton felt scared, upset or even anguished with the result while Trump supporters were excited and anticipated his move to Washington. The entire country seemed to be divided and filled with mixed emotions. Thousands of people took to the streets in protest and various world leaders reacted differently to the news. A petition for members of the Electoral College to change their vote surfaced and made its way around the country, collecting upwards of three million votes. A divided period has ensued throughout the entire world, between people and political parties alike.
With a new president entering the Oval Office soon, it is important not that he has our support, but that he has our respect. It is unlikely that the petition that is circulating the country will have any impact on result of the election, so citizens need to accept and move on from the verdict. It is easy for some to be resentful about the result of the election; however, anyone who is passionate enough to protest or post a frightening article on their Facebook wall needs to focus that energy into a positive mindset that is ready to create active change. This can be done by joining an activist group that spreads awareness within communities or writing a letter to the government. This controversial election will go down in history as one that poked holes in so many relationships, but if we all come together we will be able to make something good out of what some call a disaster. Given that Washington will be primarily Republican for the next four years, it is quite feasible that the government can take strides as one toward effective improvements. With a conflicting government, it would be difficult to pass significant change.
Despite the fact this election may have come down to who voters personally thought was the lesser of the two evils, now is not the time to complain. We have to face our future, like it or not, and that includes Donald Trump as our 45th president. Taking to the streets in protest is not the answer. Although many may think that protest will promote change it really creates more issues. Not only does it disturb cities and their flow, but it also hypes citizens up on an issue they likely cannot change. Before we can unite as a country, citizens and government together, we the people need to take steps toward coming together. Only after this, can our beautiful country continue on with a hopefully successful and safe four years.