Trump triumph, a rejection of status quo

A joke punning on the American presidential candidates’ poll symbols and making the rounds on the social media is the Republican elephant has made an ass of Democratic presidential candidate! One draws a similar conclusion when the much-hated and maligned real estate tycoon and former reality TV star Donald Trump crossed all hurdles and demolished Democratic bastions to become the 45th US President.

With Hillary Clinton conceding defeat, poll pundits and analysts have started wondering what went wrong. While it would take some time to dissect the polling patterns and how the tide has turned towards Trump despite Democrats pumping massive funds into the campaign and the whole Democratic Party has solidly backed Hillary, preliminary analysis points to various fault lines that were glaring when Hillary hit the campaign trail but cleverly covered up by her media and campaign managers. They highlighted her previous experience as the First Lady for eight years, Secretary of State for four years and her public service as New York Senator, glossing over her email scandal which is believed to be her undoing. At the end, as the V-Day approached, none had expected the seemingly minor aberrations would devour her at the hustling.

In fact, the American media has projected her so much that she is going to break the glass ceiling. But she has failed in what is described as the Battle of the Sexes for the highest office in the US and the most important job in the world.  Her failure is largely attributed to her own failings by not opening up when questioned about her private emails, running into thousands, when she was Secretary of State, and maintaining secrecy about the Clinton Foundation and its funding by rich donors. Thus Hillary is seen as a secret woman that led to a deficit of trust in her.

The last-minute clean chit by FBI that her private emails had not compromised national security seems to have cut not much ice with voters. While Trump himself questioned FBI’s conclusion, critics too saw a clumsy attempt to prop up Hillary to win the White House race.

Early exit polls from CNN showed 58 percent of the white vote went to Trump. White men and women voted for Trump 63 and 53 percent, respectively. He won whites with college degrees (49 percent) and without (67 percent). It means his poll promise to bring back jobs Americans have lost has garnered a significant share of the male vote.

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Commenting on the triumph of Trump, the New York Times said, it was a powerful rejection of the establishment forces that had assembled against him, from the world of business to government, and the consensus they had forged on everything from trade to immigration. The results amounted to a repudiation, not only of Mrs. Clinton, but of President Obama, whose legacy is suddenly imperiled. And it was a decisive demonstration of power by a largely overlooked coalition of mostly blue-collar white and working-class voters who felt that the promise of the United States had slipped their grasp amid decades of globalization and multiculturalism. In Mr. Trump, they found an improbable champion.  “The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer,” Mr. Trump told supporters around 3 a.m. on Wednesday at a rally in New York City, just after Mrs. Clinton called to concede.

Leaving behind all the campaign rancor and venomous words about his opponent, Trump appealed for unity and said:  “Now it’s time for America to bind the wounds of division … It is time for us to come together as one united people. It’s time… is so important to me.”

He is set to take the oath of office on January 20, 2017.

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