Trump faces post-poll challenge
“Now it is time for America to bind the wounds of division, have to get together. To all Republicans and Democrats and independents across this nation, I say it is time for us to come together as one united people. It is time. I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all of Americans, and this is so important to me…Working together, we will begin the urgent task of rebuilding our nation and renewing the American dream.”
That was President-elect Donald Trump’s victory speech on November 9 soon after Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton conceded defeat and congratulated her opponent on his triumph.
A day after his unity appeal to all the people living legally or illegally in the US to join him in the task of rebuilding the nation in his conciliatory speech, widespread protests erupted across the US. Obviously, his effort to embalm the wounds caused by his vitriolic poll campaign with soothing and placating words of reassurance has few takers. His rancor against Muslims and Hispanic groups has shattered the hopes and dreams of millions of immigrants, particularly from the Muslim world. Reports in mainstream American newspapers suggest that a sort of fear psychosis has gripped an already polarized country.
Despite Trump stressing that he ‘will be president for all Americans,’ people are yet to come to terms with a new reality that a man who is reviled so much is going to occupy the highest office in America in two months’ time. The ongoing protests in streets, on school and college campuses are thus a reflection of anger and helplessness from some sections of people. They know, and the world knows, that a voted president can’t be recalled just because some can’t stand his sight. But peaceful protests and rallies are the only way to express their resentment and let their fury out.
The protesters include every denomination which feels threatened by Trump’s triumph, though it’s premature to judge him even before he moved into the White House. Their fears have origin in Trump’s inflammatory speeches he made during his campaign trail. Though Trump’s poll managers insist they had been made to build a tough guy macho image that American voters love to see in their president, the Republican winner might not have imagined that he would run into public opposition even before he assumed office.
It’s an irony of sorts that the popular candidate by the number of votes polled, Hillary Clinton, couldn’t make it while her opponent who garnered more electoral college votes is set to take up the most important job in the world.
Huge anti-Trump rallies were held on Wednesday in almost all important cities like New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. The peaceful protests continued on Thursday as well with over a thousand high school students walking out of class rooms in San Francisco; hundreds of students at Texas State University in San Marcos deserting classes and holding a rally on the campus; college and high school students launching “Not My President” social media campaign. Weekend protests are expected to be more and bigger.
Trump, on the other hand, has opened a new front to tackle the growing opposition with a tweet, saying, “Just had a very open and successful presidential election. Now professional protesters, incited by the media, are protesting. Very unfair!.”
Amidst the raging opposition in streets and on campuses, President Barack Obama received Donald Trump at the White House, the first in a series of transition meetings, on Thursday. Setting aside their vilification campaign barbs, they were reported to have ‘an excellent meeting.’
While Trump said it was a “great honor” meeting with the US leader and looking forward to receiving the president’s counsel, Obama pledged his support.