2016 Presidential Election Aftermath


Clarion photo Colin Stevens

By Bart Brewer, Page Editor

After more than a year of mind numbing election news and controversy, the election is finally over. Now that Hillary Clinton has won, we can finally… Wait, what do you mean Trump won?…Ok, ok I can work with this. So yes, Donald Trump has won the election, and in a few months will be President of The United States. I have zero doubt in my mind that a large number of you reading this right now are either scared, angry, or both. I will address that fear later, as now we will be discussing how Trump won the vote, as well as the effects this result has had on the country and global community.

So how was Trump able to win the election? Well, the short answer is that he was able to win major swing states such as Florida and Pennsylvania. The long answer is a little more complicated. You see, the vote in these major swing states were very close. Hillary lost to Trump in Florida by only 120,000 votes, and 60,000 in Pennsylvania. After looking at the results, some are quick to blame Gary Johnson, as the votes that he got would have made up the difference in both of these states. However, I don’t think that this is the main reason Hillary lost, as Johnson did about as well as typical Libertarians do. No, instead I’m going to say that the main reason Hillary lost was simply because of less voter turnout. Comparing 2016 to 2008, Obama had nearly ten million more people vote for him than Hillary, with the Republican base staying roughly the same in both years.

Now, how has this result affected the country? Well, pretty much the way you would think it would. Protests have erupted nationwide in action against a Trump presidency. Many of the protests, such as the ones in New York, Boston, and Portland, have blocked off major highways, like the I-5 in Portland. These protests have been peaceful for the most part, with protesters holding signs saying, “Trump’s a racist” and “Not Racist USA.” Trump Hotels and other buildings owned by Trump have been the targets of many of these protests. Equally, people have started to call for an end to the electoral college. While Trump did get more electoral votes, Hillary won the popular vote, this being the second time in 16 years that a candidate who had the popular vote lost. Hillary’s national field director Adam Parkhomenko, tweeted, “American voters did not let us down. The electoral college did. The first woman nominee of a major party for president won the people’s vote.”

As for the global community, most countries are putting on a brave face. People such as Prime Minister Matteo Renzi of Italy, who was an open Hillary supporter, gave his congratulations to Trump’s victory. Vladimir Putin, who was in favor of Trump throughout his campaign, congratulated Trump for winning, saying that he was looking forward to a strong relationship between Russia and the U.S. While many foreign prime ministers and presidents have given their congratulations to Trump, not all are confident in his ability as the next U.S president. In Iran, foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that the U.S had an obligation to continue to respect the nuclear deal made last year, in reference to how Trump has been vehemently against the deal. Sweden’s former prime minister Carl Bildt tweeted, “At least Richard Nixon had a solid understanding of world affairs. Manoeuvred skilfully. But morally corrupt. And collapsed in disgrace.”

Now as I said previously, I am sure that many of you readers out there are angry about these results, and you have every right to be. However, as much as you don’t like these results, even as much as I don’t like these results, we still have something to learn from this. Donald Trump won because he was the only candidate who offered a change from the establishment, and that is something that we should all want. It is because of the harsh line that we draw between Democrats and Republicans that we have elections like this, where each side is scared of the other. It is time that we reach across the aisle, so that even if we still disagree on issues with others, we know why they think what they think. Like I said, I am not in favor of these results, and I know that these next four years are going to be tough for multiple groups and nationalities across the country, but we must persevere. If we can, I’m sure that in four years time, our next president will be someone truly great.