herald

Tuesday 6 December 2016

Shock, fear and euphoria as US tries to make sense of it all

Protesters against Donald Trump outside Trump Tower
Protesters against Donald Trump outside Trump Tower

The White House of Horrors.

That was the take of the New York Daily News yesterday as America and the world tried to make sense of Donald Trump's election as president.

The thing is it doesn't make any sense - just ask the voters.

Most of the US TV networks carried out extensive exit polls to see what people thought of the candidates and the results are fascinating.

According to a NBC study, Hillary Clinton's image rating was 44pc favourable compared to Trump's 37pc. A massive 61pc said they had an unfavourable view of the Republican. More voters saw Clinton as honest and trustworthy compared to Trump.

Only a little more than a third of voters said Trump had the temperament to serve as president.

CNN reported that most voters made their decision prior to the so-called 'October surprise' that was the FBI reopening the investigation into Clinton's emails.

Voters shared a largely positive view of the Obama era with 54pc approving of his performance.

He said during the campaign that it would be an insult to his legacy if his successor was a reality TV star who was unfit to serve.

More than half of Americans said the economy was the most important issue affecting their decision, yet Trump's economic plan has been ridiculed by business leaders.

Amnesty

Natalie Meilen, a student at New York University, breaks down after speaking about her grievances with the policies of Donald Trump and Mike Pence during a gathering in Washington Square Park
Natalie Meilen, a student at New York University, breaks down after speaking about her grievances with the policies of Donald Trump and Mike Pence during a gathering in Washington Square Park

Even more bizarrely, 71pc favoured giving undocumented immigrants, many of them Irish, a chance to gain legal status.

Trump has ruled out what he sees as an "amnesty".

Despite all that, people elected Donald Trump.

He has managed to pull the plug on the political establishment and undermined the need for mainstream media to sort fact from fiction.

The reaction in the States is akin to that in the UK after the Brexit referendum.

There is shock and confusion. Tension and fear. But there are also those who feel euphoric.

Mostly though there was just shock.

There was so much shock in the Clinton campaign that Hillary pulled out of her Election Day rally in Manhattan.

She could just about bring herself to phone Trump and concede the White House.

Yet again she was within touching distance of the Oval Office and saw it ripped from her clutches. There's unlikely to be any comeback on this occasion though.

When she did eventually gather her thoughts, she was quick to say "sorry".

A word her opponent has rarely uttered.

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