Trump's election sparks outrage, national protests
Following a year-long battle with Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump was voted in as the president-elect of the United States in the early morning hours of Wednesday, Nov. 9.
Trump’s victory seems to defy all odds; pre-election polls and political correspondents predicted a narrow win for Clinton up until the day of the election. While Clinton won the popular vote by nearly 400,000, Trump amassed 290 electoral votes to Clinton’s 228, with 270 votes required to win the presidency. This was largely accomplished with his win of several key states, including Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
In his victory speech, Trump called for the country to unite behind him.
“I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans, and this is so important to me,” Trump said. “For those who have chosen not to support me in the past, of which there were a few people, I’m reaching out to you for your guidance and your help so that we can work together and unify our great country.”
According to Trump’s website, his platform includes points like building a wall on the nation’s southern border, healthcare reform and veteran affairs reform. He also plans to make changes in foreign policy, immigration, tax policy and trade.
Trump’s plan for his first 100 days in office includes the creation of a wall on the nation’s southern border, which he states will be funded by the Mexican government. The Mexican president, however, stated that he does not intend to fund the project, even if Trump claims that it will keep illegal immigrants from crossing the border.
Trump’s website also mentions his plan to cut taxes for working and middle class people and eliminate tax loopholes used by corporations. As for trade, he wants to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and renegotiate the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement so that it reflects his idea of prioritizing the interests of U.S. citizens.
Since the premiums for Obamacare are expected to increase next year, Trump also promises that he will repeal and replace Obamacare with a program called Health Savings Accounts. This, his website states, would “create a patient-centered health care system that provides choice, quality and affordability.” By also allowing customers to purchase programs in states that they do not live in, Trump hopes to expand the insurance industry.
Next, Trump wants to take care of veterans, whether this means providing for their physical or mental well-being. This goal, his website explains, involves modernizing the system so that it can cater to the needs of modern-day veterans.
“We will also finally take care of our great veterans who have been so loyal,” Trump said in his victory speech. “Our veterans are incredible people.”
When it comes to foreign policy and immigration, Trump promises to be firm. His platform calls for “peace through strength,” or the promotion of “regional stability” and rebuilding the military, particularly its intelligence and technological capabilities. Similarly, he wants to limit immigration to make sure that U.S. workers are prioritized and immigrants are able to sustain themselves when they enter the country without taking away jobs from U.S. citizens.
For migrants from certain regions, coming into the United States may prove even more difficult in the coming years.
When speaking about Baruch College’s Undergraduate Student Government’s tabling event where students could guess the state-by-state outcome of the election, Vincent Gangemi, president of Baruch College Republicans, shared his opinion on Trump’s victory.
“Even though neither Hillary nor Trump was my first choice for president, I believed that Pennsylvania’s slow job growth … would lead them to choose the candidate to bring jobs back to the country. I was not able to see the same rationale causing historically blue states such as Michigan and Wisconsin to vote red,” Gangemi said. “For this reason, his margin of victory was extremely surprising.”
Though he admitted that he did not vote for Trump, his opinion about Trump's presidency remains optimistic.
“Despite Trump not being my first choice, I sincerely hope that he will be a successful president,” Gangemi said. “The welfare for this country is something much more important than political incongruities.”
However, the country’s response to Trump becoming the 45th president was mixed. The night after the election, protests broke out in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Oakland and Washington, D.C. In New York, thousands of protesters walked from Union Square to Trump Tower, while protesters in California burned Trump’s effigy, CNN reported. Among the most popular chants was “not my president,” which became a trending hashtag on social media sites.
“My mom was always saying like [Clinton] wasn’t going to win anyway because America didn’t want a female president, but I was a little hopeful,” Sadia Khan, treasurer of the Muslim Student Association, said. “But once the polls got in I actually got really scared and I was at school really late at night and I was just like, ‘Okay I need to go home quickly.’”
On Wednesday, Nov. 9, the Office of Student Life sent out an email to remind students about the counseling services offered at Baruch. Later that day, OSL hosted an open discussion regarding the election, which was attended by close to 30 students.
Trump has over two months to unite the people behind his cause. In the meantime, Facebook users are organizing more protests in major cities around the country, including a protest scheduled to take place in Washington, D.C. during Trump’s inauguration.
“I think even his skeptics owe him at least his first 100 days to pass judgement,” Gangemi said.