Well, it actually happened! And it feels like Brexit all over again! Reading the news on that chilly morning of 9th November you might have believed that the world might be standing still. But it wasn’t, and it won’t.
It is the second time this year that the polls have been wrong, indicating as they were right up until the very last second that Hillary was favourite to win. It is thought that, as with the Brexit vote, many people concealed their real voting intentions to avoid animosity and to save embarrassment. However, we cannot deny that Trump’s message was resonating with many Americans; even those who outwardly admit they do not like Trump still voted for him!
Watching the run-up to the election from across the pond, we were wide-eyed and in shock that Trump could even be taken seriously as a candidate, let alone be elected President of the United States. But those living through it clearly had different perspectives.
It has been reported that many found Hillary to be too guarded, and not honest or open enough. Some thought she was too ‘pro-war’ and would ultimately drag them into a battle with Syria they did not want to be part of, and which could well ruin the economy.
On the other side, people praised Trump for his “what you see is what you get” approach, and found his outright honesty refreshing, even if they didn’t always agree with what he was saying. His business acumen will also have been a positive point for him, with many hoping he will be able to negotiate tough deals around the world that will help bring America out of debt and back into the black.
Ultimately, I think that the majority of Americans wanted to see the nation shaken up a little. They wanted change, and this was the only way that they could make their voice heard on such a large scale. And, boy, have we heard them now. In this way, this vote was not dissimilar to Brexit, though it has the potential to have a much more far-reaching and significant effect worldwide; but it is proof that when people want change they vote with their hearts rather than their heads.
Now that Trump has made contact with Putin, let’s hope that most of what he proclaimed during the election was for publicity and that the most powerful job in the world might ground him somewhat. He had apparently downgraded the wall between America and Mexico from a wall to a fence, and now has downgraded it further … to a “virtual” wall. Oh dear!