America’s bipolar experiment

By Michael Blanche

Election Day
President-elect Donald Trump, joined on stage by running mate Mike Pence, speaks to supporters at the Election Night Party at the Hilton Midtown Hotel in New York City on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016. (J. Conrad Williams Jr./Newsday/TNS)

Donald J. Trump will be the 45th president of the United States.

The electoral college has given the Republican nominee the victory, with 279 votes to Hillary Clinton’s 228 and eventually ending with 306 to 232, respectively. Clinton is the fourth candidate in U.S. history to win the popular vote but lose the electoral vote.

Many pundits are calling the contest a nail biter, as a result of the all-important swing states. Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, and New Hampshire were each won within one percent of the electorate. The popular vote was won by 200,000 votes which is also an indication of the close split and bipolarity seen in the voting population across the country.

“The electorate is split, but progress can be made,” said Lael Harcum, a sophomore nursing major. “But, if people want to work together, they will.” At 2:40 a.m. on Nov. 9, the former Secretary of State made the concession call to the new President-elect. Shortly after, President Barack Obama also called to congratulate and invite President-elect Trump to the White House on Nov., 10.

Trump and his campaign ignored an overwhelming majority of polls, experts and politicians projecting a win for him to be impossible.

Trump clinched the electoral triumph by sweeping the Rust Belt which has trended Democratic for several election cycles and includes many rural parts of Pennsylvania. Many are saying Trump tapped into the anger of the white working class that has felt alienated and ignored by representatives in Washington.

Trump coined the terms for his voters, “the silent majority,” or, “the stealth vote.” On Tuesday morning, the hashtag

#russiachoosestrump was trending on Twitter throughout Russia. Anyssa Medley, a nursing major in her third year at DCCC says that Americans may welcome a more “friendly relationship” with Russia.

When battleground states started to fall into the red column it became clear to Clinton and her supporters that the “Blue Wall,” of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. would become red as well, essentially losing the presidency that seemed all but guaranteed for Clinton.

“I cried,” said Clara Harding, a freshman art major here at DCCC. “I don’t blame her for the loss, but she didn’t create enough enthusiasm among her base.”

Late Tuesday evening, stocks and futures fell dramatically when Trump began to take the lead in the crucial swing states of Florida, North Carolina and Ohio, but rebounded in the morning and surged strongly until the closing bell, the next day.

“I am fearful of what could happen, and four years is a short time but a lot can happen during a president’s term,” Crystal Fountain, a second year student at DCCC said.

After Clinton made the concession call, future Vice President Mike Pence took the podium and introduced the future president. Trump began his acceptance speech by acknowledging Clinton’s hard work on the campaign and throughout her public life. The President Elect also avoided devolving into the rhetoric that was prominent throughout his campaign.

At 11:30 the next day, Clinton gave an emotional concession speech to the divided country, aiming to unite the starkly divided electorate after one of the most vitriolic and bitter campaigns in recent memory.

“This loss hurts, but please never stop believing that fighting for what is right is worth it,” Clinton said in her speech.

Now the Republicans will have control of the White House, Senate and House of Representatives and are poised to repeal many of the current administration’s programs such as the Affordable Care Act.

Only a few world leaders have expressed concerns regarding the outcome of the election. Most offered a positive outlook for new alliances with the incoming new commander in chief.

Much will be made of the Clinton campaign’s lack of presence in Wisconsin during the lead up to the election, as she neglected to visit the state once after winning the Democratic primary.

Even more will be made about how Trump defied all odds and naysayers, overcame his own behaviors and character flaws to handily beat 17 qualified opponents and gain the White House.

Recently, broadly nonviolent protests have broken out in major cities across the U.S. in the wake of the surprise victory

Contact Michael Blanche at communitarian@mail.dccc.edu