In the early hours of the morning of Wednesday 9th November, Donald Trump won Florida and Ohio to go on and win the Presidency in one of the greatest political shocks since Brexit.
The first candidate to become President-elect without holding political office since the days of Dwight Eisenhower, Donald Trump pulled off a surprise victory in the race against Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, to pass the 270 threshold for victory of the Electoral College vote to Clinton’s 228. The Republicans, concerned about losing the Senate majority, have brought about a clean sweep; the party now controls the Senate, the House and – most importantly – the White House.
The election was a fork in the road. The US could have elected its first female president, but instead chose an oft-mocked candidate with no experience in running elected office, coupled with a track record of insulting disabled people, the LGBT community, war veterans and the entire US voting system to name a few. Trump is a candidate who has openly called for a blanket ban on all Muslims from entering the United States, and early on in his campaign, announced that he would build a wall between the US and neighbouring Mexico – at Mexico’s apparent expense. He has denigrated women, and called for his opponent Hillary Clinton to be ‘locked up’ following the continued email scandal that, in part, crippled her trust and approvals within the US public.
But Trump’s message resonated. It resonated with white males, with uneducated voters, with white women. Trump won Florida, New Hampshire, Ohio and Michigan. The Trump campaign messages of building a stronger economy, tighter controls on immigration and of increased border security struck a chord among voters in the Rust Belt states in particular. This was the key to Trump’s success, breaking Clinton’s ‘fire-wall’ states of Virginia (West Virginia is a traditional Republican strong hold), Pennsylvania, Ohio and Iowa. These states were won over by Trump’s seemingly matter-of-fact opinions on the failings of the political establishment and the Obama presidency, and voters were swayed towards his rhetoric in droves.
And so we come to the fall-out.
Trump is now the President-elect of the most powerful office in the world. He will step into Barack Obama’s shoes on 20th January 2017.
With a Republican-controlled White House, Senate and House, expect to see the repeal of Obamacare within the first year. How far Trump will manage to take his campaign pledges of building a wall along the US’s Southern border, a total ban on all Muslims entering the US. Whether or not he will repeal the same-sex marriage bill, brought in under the second term of Obama’s presidency, remains to be seen.
There is time for mourning. There is time to lick wounds.
But now must also be a time to organise, and organise fast. Only then will we have an inside chance of ensuring the continued survival of so many critical legislative successes of Obama’s 8-year reign; from Obamacare to same-sex marriage law, the Paris Climate Agreement and beyond.
One final point; the above graphic shows the voting pattern of all 18-25’s in this 2016 presidential election. Bar North Dakota, Wyoming, Indiana, Kentucky and West Virginia, all others voted majority Democrat.
Now is the time for Elizabeth Warren and indeed Michelle Obama to step up to the plate, with the support of Bernie Sanders.
2020 is counting on you to bring it back home.
That final, highest, hardest glass ceiling will be broken.
It will be broken soon.