Well it’s been a week since my southern neighbours elected Donald Trump as their next president and lo and behold… the world has not ended. It could be simply that they have not yet given him the nuclear codes or it could be that we were making much to do about nothing.
I think that many people were surprised by the outcome of this contest, Hillary and her team, President Obama and most world leaders (except Putin). I’m sure the most surprised of all was Mike Pence (Vice-President elect) who spent the majority of the campaign running around with a fire extinguisher trying to put out the blazes that erupted every time Trump opened his mouth. At the end of the campaign Pence could do nothing but shake his head and tell the people that The Donald is not that bad a guy and it’s just the type of thing that you say in an election campaign. I’m sure Pence was shocked when he was informed that he was the next VP.
Since the winner has been declared all parties involved have travelled the high road, yes even The Donald. Clinton and Obama have been gracious in defeat both conceding that “He is our President and will receive our full support for the betterment of the nation.” Trump has also been gracious in his victory, praising both Clinton and Obama for their service to the country. Who are these people??? A week previously they were calling each other names, threatening jail time and insinuating that mental illness was running rampant in each other’s brains. The whole thing was a circus!!
In a 60 Minutes interview that aired on Sunday Nov. 13th, Donald Trump was asked if he took his rhetoric too far. His reply, “No, I won.” This shows just how far the Americans will go to get what they want. The commercials that ran for both sides of the campaign the week prior to the vote were absolutely inflammatory, they might as well have said, ‘If you vote for blah-blah, YOU’RE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!’ Trump called Clinton a liar and a criminal and Clinton called Trump unstable and a bigot. I watched these commercials air every 7 minutes on the final few days and all I could think was that the American people were screwed, no matter the outcome. A week later and they’re all buddy-buddy. I reiterate… Who are these people?!!!
How did this come to pass you ask? How did Donald beat Hillary? From what I can determine based on what the ‘talking heads’ of the media are saying, even though Hillary had more US citizens in the country vote for her (won the popular vote), Donald had more people in the right States support him (won the electoral vote). In the US, each State (50 of them and a couple of territories) is worth a pre-determined amount of electoral votes based on some bizarre system involving population, congressional and senate representation in their respective houses, and maybe even the number of professional sports teams each State has (meaning that I don’t have a clue how they work out the number). If a Presidential candidate wins a particular State, he or she receives the total of electoral votes assigned to that State. Get 270 electoral votes and you’re the President. Donald won all the right States.
Regardless of their behavior now though, their actions during the campaign have inflamed a nation. They have been protesting in the streets of American cities since Tuesday the 8th. The fall-out of their campaigns has left the United States in shambles. Never before have I seen this, even in 2000 when Al Gore won the popular vote but George W. Bush won the Presidency receiving the key electoral vote support. That election took two days for a winner to be determined! Yes there were protests of support for both candidates while the country waited for Florida to figure out how to do simple addition and declare who got their electoral votes but once it was decided the protesters all went home to do what they always do, complain about it.
But this election appears to have left their country more divided than 2000 did and this time the people appear to be more ‘up-in your-grill’ vocal about the results… on both sides. There have been many disturbing news clips and videos making the rounds since the election. Kids too young to vote chanting “build the wall” to torment their Hispanic classmates and a protest proclaiming “not our president” turn unruly and violent. This does not appear to be a happy nation.
As a neighbour I have seen the United States deal with many adverse situations in the past. Some they handled well and others… not so much. How the Americans fare with Donald at the helm is yet to be seen. I know the results of the US Presidential election has world-wide impact, but for my part I have only ever been a spectator to the events of the last year. I hold no vote, nor desire to interfere with their right to self-determination, a principle that I believe all of mankind has a right to. You can choose not to vote but no one can stop you from doing so is the principle that democracy is built on. A principle that the Americans exercised last Tuesday and under the rules of this principle, you get what you get.
Good luck to all.