President Trump – an overview of the 2016 US elections and how it happened

Republican Presidential Nominee Donald Trump Holds Election Night Event In New York CityAfter months of intense rivalry, debates and rallies, on the 8th November 2016 Donald Trump was elected as the 45th president of the United States. The wealthy businessman won 279 electoral votes compared to Hillary’s 228, despite Clinton actually winning more overall votes than Trump. In many parts of America and the rest of the world, fear, anger and disgust have been expressed towards the appointment of Trump, and the backlash has included rallies and protests across the USA.

For many, this election has demonstrated the lack of compassion amongst the American people. How is it that the country has gone from its first black president to a president endorsed by the KKK? Trump won support from many different demographics, but one misconception is that most Trump voters were “uneducated”. He won votes from rich college-educated voters across the country.

There is now the inevitability of a rise in hate crimes and fascism across the country. The fact that he won shows that racism, sexism and fascism is becoming more tolerated, and many groups such as muslims, blacks and the LGBTQ community will suffer under Trump’s oppression.

Trump has overcome many obstacles and proven critics wrong by winning the election. He has done well to play on the fears of everyday Americans – immigration, corruption and  gun restrictions. Because of this, his voters overlooked some of his absurd and disgusting actions such as mimicking a disabled reporter, and several slurs about women. Essentially, Trump was a protest vote for disenfranchised voters looking for an alternative to the establishment, much like Brexit in the UK. However its clear that he is not the right solution.

One problem was that Hillary Clinton, his opposition, was not largely popular amongst left wing voters. The Ex secretary of state has been involved in scandal after scandal and despite her experience in politics, voters were put off by the fact that she is controlled by the establishment, and has a proven track record as a prolific liar. I also believe that Clinton would not be any better at helping the people that need it. Some people voted for her because they saw having a woman as president as progress – however I fail to see it as progress if Hillary would exclusively help white middle class women. I doubt the women or countries such as Yemen, Honduras and Libya see Clinton as “progress” – countries where she has caused poverty, war and death.

One dangerous aspect of Trump’s presidency is that it is unlikely to have a huge effect on white middle class citizens, meaning his support may increase. However, if he goes through with some of his dangerous and alarming policies, many muslims, black people and other people of colour could be at danger.

It is important to not blame non-voters for the outcome of this election. Clinton won many votes down to lesser evilism and voters believing she was the best of a bad situation. However, voting in this manner is how America ended up with the choice of two largely unpopular candidates. Whatever the outcome of this election, neither candidate would cause any major improvement to the situation in USA. Even under Obama, police brutality remained high, gun laws went unchanged and drones contained to tear apart the Middle East, and there was high hopes for Obama’s presidency.

It’s unlikely that Trump will last longer than 4 years in the White House, but during this time leftist and anti-fascist movements need to work to combat hatred and promote an alternative to the historic, outdated and unhelpful system of American politics. As Bernie Sanders has stated, Trump harnessed the anti-establishment anger. This should be the aim of the left in the coming years, and its worth noting that although Trump does not fit in with the political establishment, he is still a greedy, wealthy corporate magnate who has a record of exploiting workers. He is not someone who will lead a working class anti establishment movement, and the world is now in a precarious situation with this dangerous and unpredictable man in charge of the worlds most powerful, imperialistic country.

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