Donald Trump Beats Hillary Clinton to Take the White House

Raeesa Ashique - 2B Electrical
Posted on: November 9, 2016

The last year and a half of campaigning, which can be better described as a series of scandals and repetitive divisive issues, has culminated in a shocking result as the American people voted in Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States.

The businessman and former reality TV star with no political experience was never viewed as a likely winner, but he has disproved the polls with a win over Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. Let it be noted that they are two of the most unpopular candidates in modern American history.

Trump took the stage at the Hilton Hotel in New York just before 3 AM on Wednesday morning to say that Clinton had called to concede the election and offer her congratulations. “I have just received a call from Secretary Clinton. She congratulated us on our victory … and I congratulated her and her family on a very very hard-fought campaign.”

In his victory speech, he called for unity, which is very interesting considering his campaign was built on nothing of the sort. “Now it’s time for America to bind the wounds of division,” he said. “It is time for us to come together as one united people. It’s time.”

The Clinton campaign team has said she will speak on Wednesday morning.

Soon, we will be referring to Donald as President Trump: American head of state, head of government, and commander-in-chief of the world’s largest military. He is also entering the White House with a Republican Senate and Republican control of the House of Representatives.

How does the electoral system work?

The American system is called the electoral college. Each state has a certain number of electors based on their population, for a total of 538. A candidate needs half of them, so 270, to become president. Whoever gets the most electors in each state gets all of that state’s electoral votes. For example, California has 55 electors, and the candidate who gets more electors receives all 55 votes. The exceptions are Nebraska and Maine, where the votes are split.

Certain states are pretty much guaranteed. For example, California votes Democratic and Texas votes Republican almost without question, so candidates do not spend much time or money appealing to these states.

For this reason, elections often come down to “swing states”, which may vote one way or the other. This election came down to a couple swing states. Florida was a key player, where most of the Trump support was from those who are disappointed in Washington, and are calling for serious change. Ohio, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania also put him over the top. In Ohio, black voters and young people were less likely to vote Democratic than they were in 2012. In North Carolina, Clinton took the majority of the non-white voters, but this was not enough to counterbalance Trump’s sweep of the white vote. Wisconsin allowed him to secure the remaining electoral votes.

After the swing states turned, Clinton was left with her blue firewall in the Midwest, but states that had been Democratic for decades also voted with Trump. This destroyed her last chance of a win.

How did Trump win?

So, what happened? How did Trump manage to secure the Oval, although Clinton was polled to win for months? Also, how did Trump manage to make it so far considering the trail of scandals he has left in his wake?

Rural people and working class whites, especially the uneducated ones, voted Republican as they felt overlooked by the elite. Ironic, hey? Let’s vote in a man who is part of the 1%, in order to break out of the system that favours the 1%.

Trump’s campaign is mired with more scandals, assault allegations, uncensored speech, and bigoted comments than campaign promises, but nothing seems to harm him. We have seen this again and again over the course of the campaign. He reappears, apparently unscathed, after each new scandal. America keeps finding a way to forgive him.

Trump saw something that pollsters and analysts did not, although I for one cannot follow his thought-process. He seems to have some sort of instinct telling him how to appeal to the voters. He delivers what people want to hear, based on their concerns regarding immigration or gun control or America’s current lack of greatness. He is the answer to their prayers.

They also appreciated his outsider status, since he was not a politician. This must mean he is more likely to create change and fix the corrupt system, right?

Not being Hillary was also a huge bonus. The email scandal has come up time and again, which is grounds enough for many that she would be a horrible president, and the issue resurfaced with FBI Director James Comey reopening the investigation into Clinton’s private email server just eleven days before the election, due to the possibility that one of her advisors sent inappropriate messages to a young girl. No evidence of criminal action was uncovered, but with the case reopened so close to the election, Clinton lost the chance to deliver a decisive final message to voters.

2016: a year in review

What do we have to show for 2016? Brexit. The Colombian referendum. The American election. It’s definitely been an interesting year for democracy, which is about the most tame way to put the current situation of the world. In the words of Franklin D. Roosevelt, “Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely.” It’s a shame that so many people did not choose wisely.

Winner aside, this election has exposed a deep level of racism and all forms of bigotry in the United States, and has validated the voices of those who feel this way. It has told people that racism and sexism and bullying are acceptable, and that some people are better than others. While the election results are shocking and upsetting to many, the entire campaign is just as much so.

What Now?

Trump will be inaugurated on January 20. Until then, he will assemble his cabinet and work on a thorough policy agenda. He better get started crunching numbers for that wall. Rumour has it that math is not his strong suit, so this may take a while.

So, what fallout can we expect? Best case scenario is Trump doesn’t do what he didn’t say he would do. Since it’s never been quite clear what he was planning to do. But as long as he doesn’t do it, that’s cool.

Also, it would be nice if he did not start a nuclear war. But only time will tell.

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