Is America going to be great again? November 16th, 2016

On the 9th of November 2016, Donald Trump has been officially announced as the 45th President of the United States. Against most of the public opinion polls, experts’ opinions and projection models, the Republican candidate won against the Democratic candidate – Hilary Clinton. Why has this happened and what does it mean for the US and the rest of the world?

It is worth mentioning that Hilary Clinton actually had more votes. However, she did not win because of the electoral system in the US. Every state in America has a certain amount of electoral votes. People have popular votes, which means that they are voting for their candidate and person who gets more of these votes, (even if the difference is just by one vote), gets the electoral votes of the state. Therefore, Clinton won popular from the populous states such as New York and California, but not electoral votes where Trump has won less dense states.

During the ‘U.S Election Night’ talk organized by the SCOPE Economics, Kaj Thomsson, head of the Emerging Markets Programme at SBE, the US political economy was discussed. He mentioned factors that impact on people’s choices: inequality, education, ethics, diversity, and others. Indeed, Trump built his electorate on these determinants. Statistics show[i] that a substantial part of Trump’s electorate were the uneducated and elderly habitants who felt threatened by the wave of immigrations and worried about their economic status. They voted for changes, even if it meant radical ones. Surely, Trump’s presidency means change.

It remains to be seen, however, what policy the president-elect is going to implement. Is he going to fulfil his campaign promises, even his the most controversial ones? Will he build a wall across the US southern border and deport immigrants? It seems to be almost implausible, not only because of the complicated procedure of implementing laws in the US, but also because of the inconsistent and fast changes in Trump’s opinions (e.g. he changed his view on abortion 5 times in a 3 day period). Roberta Haar, an expert in various fields of international relations and the second speaker of the ‘U.S Election Night’, stated that Trump had no interest in becoming president besides winning the presidency.

As the most inexperienced president of all times, he might become bored of a day-to-day task, and rely on every decision by his advisors. Nevertheless, one of the most important points that Roberta Haar has raised was ‘No matter who wins, the 2016 American presidential election will be defined by its rejection of establishment candidates and the electorate’s embrace of insurgents, who openly waged war on their own parties’.[ii] ‘Newsweek’[iii] wrote about Trump as a meteor which fell into a political stage and made damages. The characteristics of the meteors are that they stop at the end they stop and fade. Therefore, while some are celebrating a victory of Trump, and others are astounded, we should have to wait and see what Donald Trump’s next moves are for the next steps of the new President. Definitely, new times has begun and they will be on territories that have not been walked on. President Trump's maverick appearance in the political arena challenges the US as well as the whole world.

[i] See statistic at: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-elections/who-voted-for-donald-trump-white-men-and-women-most-responsible-for-new-president-elect-voting-data-a7407996.html [ii] The lecture express her thoughts form the article: http://www.observantonline.nl/English/Home/Articles/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/11455/The-Trump-Effect-on-US-Foreign-Policy [iii] http://www.newsweek.pl/opinie/donald-trump-nowym-prezydentem-usa-komentarz,artykuly,400229,1.html