Trump wins and it is time to wake up

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Trump wins and it is time to wake up

By Chris Spannos


Donald Trump speaks on the campaign in 2016. Gage Skidmore under a Creative Commons Licence

It was a big surprise. Before the election, Trump as president was a joke. In the weeks before the election, polls said Hilary Clinton would win easily. But today, 9 November 2016, it is different. Trump will be the 45th President of the United States.

Clinton lost the very important states of Ohio, North Carolina, and Florida. Republicans have a majority in the House of Representatives and have control for the next six years. They have a small majority in the Senate. And with Trump there will be new right wing judges in the US Supreme Court.

This result is a very big political change. Trump never had a government job. He said he will ban Muslim immigrants, he attacked women, and asked for a wall between Mexico and the US. His message was ‘Make America great again’.

When he won the election, Trump said that no dream is too big, no problem is too great. We can have everything we want for our future. But women, Muslims, and migrants now have good reason to fear Trump.

Before the election, people talked about how Latino or Black voters could help the Democratic Party win. But polls showed that white voters and especially most white women helped Trump to win.

70 per cent of voters were white and 58 per cent of them voted for Trump. 34 per cent of voters were white men and 63 per cent voted for Trump. 37 per cent of voters were white women and 53 per cent of them voted for Trump. 21 per cent of non-whites voted for Trump. 31 per cent of men voted for Clinton.

Evangelical Christians were a big part of Trump’s win. It seems that they were possibly one of the strongest groups for Trump. Farai Chideya at FiveThirtyEight blog writes that, during the primaries, many evangelical voters were worried about Trump’s ideas. But they supported Trump because of issues like abortion and new judges for the Supreme Court.

Trump was against the political establishment. Perhaps he was loud and rude. But this was not a problem for many people who did not feel a part of US politics. They felt that Trump supported them in a country where it is very difficult and maybe impossible for people to move up in society. They liked it that Trump never had a government job and so he was an outsider like them.

I can understand these people. I grew up in Mojave Desert, California. My mum, dad, sister and I lived in a trailer. We had no running water or electricity. The only future in the nearest city, California City, was work on the Edwards Air Force Base, in the borax mine, in a prison or a pizza parlour or selling drugs. At 18, I left the desert, without a high school degree. I did not and do not feel like a US citizen. I felt that the US forgot about the place and the people as it forgot other places and people.

I do not say anything against the people who voted for Trump. The sadness of the desert moved slowly to the cities and rural areas of the country. Neo-liberalism made inequality worse. There were some simple services in some areas but they disappeared.

I say nothing against the people who voted for Trump. But women and people of colour worked hard for many years for things like abortion rights, immigration, and political and economic representation. It is possible that we will lose what they worked for.

Trump has given energy to some people who think more about themselves and who hate and blame others. Now the US must think hard about what to do in the difficult times now and in the future.

Chris Spannos is Digital Editor for New Internationalist.


(This article has been simplified so the words, text structure and quotes may have changed). [[Category: US presidential elections]]