Trump wins election

Republican candidate Donald J. Trump named president with 279 electoral votes


Heidi Zhang

Election Watch: Harker Aquila and Winged Post staff members turn to watch the TV monitors on the walls of the journalism room as polling results roll in. On Nov. 9, Donald J. Trump was named the President-Elect of the United States of America.

by Michael Sikand, Tiffany Wong, and Katherine Zhang

Excitement, nervousness and angst surrounded voting precincts as millions of Americans exercised one of their oldest, most dear rights. Cars hurry into parking spots and eager voters head straight to the polls after work, with one thing on their mind—casting their vote for the president of the United States.

Just hours after the last voters had filled out their ballots on Tuesday, Donald John Trump was elected the 45th president of the United States as a divisive and polarizing 18-month campaign came to its crux during an unexpected victory and sent shockwaves around the world.

Trump, a real estate developer and reality TV show star, defeated former Secretary of State, First Lady and New York senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, who was making her second bid for the presidency. As of Nov. 9, Trump had garnered 279 electoral votes as opposed to Clinton’s 228, and Clinton gave her concession speech to agree to work with Trump last Wednesday.

“I think there would be a lot of working to get things done,” Robert Varich, vice-chair of the central committee of the Santa Clara County Republican Party, said. “I think that from what Trump said [in his victory speech], he is willing to work together, even with those who are vocal about their support of the other candidate.”

Trump’s victory came as a shock to political analysts and citizens alike. Prior to the election, numerous news agencies around the country, such as the New York Times and FiveThirtyEight, had predicted that Hillary Clinton would maintain a generous lead over her GOP rival. Despite these predictions, the election played out quite differently, with Trump winning several swing states, such as Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Trump’s unexpected success comes as both a defiance of both parties’ traditional values and a demonstration of the power of overlooked demographics, such as blue-collar workers and rural voters, in the election. The verbal sparring during the election between the candidates shed light on the polarization of viewpoints from different parties.

“I think the idea that we are not unified as nation, that we are very divided, that there’s really underlying anger and that there’s a dangerous feeling to what’s coming and what could be coming makes this a terrifying day for many people,” Donna Gilbert, head of the history department, said prior to the election about the campaign season.

In light of a divisive election season, many world leaders have expressed their concern about both the current and future states of their countries’ relationships with the United States. President Francois Hollande of France stated that Trump’s victory “opens a period of uncertainty,” while President Enrique Peña Nieto tweeted on Nov. 9 a congratulations not towards Trump himself, but towards “the US for its electoral process.”

While some have expressed their opposition to the United States’ decision to elect Trump as their 45th president with protests occurring at universities all over the country, others remain hopeful about Trump’s presidency and the future of the United States. President Obama invited Trump to the White House on Nov. 10 to participate in a series of transition talks; since Trump’s victory, Obama has vocalized his acceptance of the election’s results and hopes Americans can join him in “rooting for his success in uniting and leading the country.”

“Even though I’m scared for the nation, this will give us the opportunity to start maybe using this as an opportunity to participate in activism or try to make a difference,” Aditi Maheshwari (12) said.

Trump will be inaugurated on Jan. 20 next year.

This piece was originally published in the pages of The Winged Post on November 16, 2016.