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Stunning win for Trump

  • In United States
  • 00:00, 9 Nov
  • By Sudhir Vyas

New York: Donald Trump is elected as the 45 th president of the United States of America, and he did it by completely blowing up the electoral map and defying all projections and expectations. His victory was a stunning culmination of an explosive, populist and polarizing campaign that took relentless aim at the institutions and long-held ideals of American democracy.

The triumph for Trump, 70, who is now the oldest person ever elected to a first presidential term — a real estate developer-turned-reality television star with no government experience, 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 Hillary 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.

“The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer,” Trump told supporters around 3 a.m. on Wednesday at a rally in New York City, just after Mrs. Clinton called to concede.

In a departure from a blistering campaign in which he repeatedly stoked division, Trump sought to do something he had conspicuously avoided as a candidate: Appeal for unity. “Now it’s time for America to bind the wounds of division,” he said. “It is time for us to come together as one united people. It’s time.”

Trump’s win — stretching across the battleground states of Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania — seemed likely to set off financial jitters and immediate unease among international allies, many of which were startled when Trump in his campaign cast doubt on the necessity of America’s military commitments abroad and its allegiance to international economic partnerships.

While many believed that Trump's path to victory was narrow. It wasn't. It was broad. The polls were wrong. The people fundamentally misunderstood this election. Many thought Hillary Clinton might be winning red states. But Donald Trump won blue states.

Donald Trump’s campaign for president was rarely pretty and always implausible. Trump always believed otherwise and in stunning fashion proved all the experts wrong. But his victory over Hillary Clinton left open the biggest question of all: What kind of president will he be and what kind of country will he lead?

Trump succeeded for many reasons, easier to describe in retrospect than many who view politics through traditional lenses saw throughout the campaign. His mistakes always seemed to overwhelm his attributes. What the experts overlooked was how many people were willing to forgive or discount the most controversial aspects of his candidacy — and what no one can measure is just how many agreed with what he said.

This was an uprising by Americans who had lost faith in institutions. Trump gave them a voice they felt they haven’t had in a changing America. Clinton tried to make the campaign all about temperament. As a political strategy, it failed. But that doesn’t negate the questions about whether Trump can successfully translate the style of his campaign to the demands of the Oval Office.

It’s impossible to overstate how uncertain the road ahead is at this point. But how will Trump govern, and how effective will he be? His core issues — trade, immigration, and law and order — offer clues but no clear road map for the future. Even in pursuit of the goals he outlined in those three areas, his proposals lack real specificity. But then, his campaign was not about policy white papers. It was instead a thumb in the eye of the establishment, an American version of the populist uprisings against open borders and globalization that have been seen in other Western societies.

Trump’s victory appears to have pleased Russian President Vladimir Putin.Within hours of Trump's acceptance speech, Putin congratulated him and flagged Moscow's willingness to fully restore ties with its old Cold War foe, currently at loggerheads over how to deal with the Syria conflict. The Kremlin earlier issued a statement saying Putin had expressed belief in building a constructive dialogue between Moscow and Washington.

Russia featured heavily in a heated campaign period, with Trump praising Putin as a firm leader as US officials accused Moscow of meddling by leaking hacked Democratic emails to undermine Hillary Clinton's campaign.

But from other parts of the world, the uncertainty about Trump, who has vowed to be an unpredictable leader, was reflected in anxious statements.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the President-elect Trump after the tycoon-turned-politician pulled off an upset victory. Modi said he appreciated the friendship Trump articulated towards India during his campaign.

We look forward to working with you closely to take India-US bilateral ties to a new height.” Trump then had spoken glowingly of Modi -- a “great man”, whose “energetic” bureaucratic reforms he would like to emulate -- high praise from man known for disparaging rivals. Trump, said that India-US ties will have a "phenomenal future" with his government, but he's also said that H1B visas were "decimating" US workers.

In Pakistan several eminent scholars and analysts of the country outlined that the billionaire as president, may adopt a hardline approach towards their country. "A Trump presidency will certainly be disconcerting because of its potential unpredictability," said Mosharraf Zaidi, who is part of the Ali Ailaan campaign for education in Pakistan. "However Pakistani policy makers will face the same pro-India slant, and the same surplus of expectations from the Pakistani military that have been the staple of US policy since 1992."

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, a former Mexican presidential candidate, called on Mexicans to keep calm. Mexico "is a free, independent, sovereign country. It is not a colony, it is not a protectorate, it does not depend on any foreign government," he said.

UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, congratulated Trump "following a hard-fought campaign." "Britain and the United States have an enduring and special relationship based on the values of freedom, democracy and enterprise. We are, and will remain, strong and close partners on trade, security and defense. I look forward to working with Donald Trump, building on these ties to ensure the security and prosperity of our nations in the years ahead."

The immediate reaction from financial markets was brutal, and US allies convened emergency meetings of their financial and security agencies to assess the impact of the shock victory. Asian stock markets fell, with Tokyo down almost 6%. The Dow futures markets slid almost 800 points, while the Mexican peso fell to a record low against the US dollar.

Trump always said he smelled an American Brexit in the making — a reference to the unexpected victory in Britain in June by those who wanted to take the country out of the European Union. That vote caught the elites and the establishment totally by surprise. It was an uprising that went unseen until it struck. Trump’s victory was by far even more shocking. It was the kind of “can’t happen here” event that will go down as one of the great upsets in political history.

What happened Tuesday was a victory powered by an outpouring of voters, overwhelmingly white and many without college degrees, who felt left behind by the economic recovery, ignored by Washington and disdained by the political, cultural and economic elites. In the end, that was enough to topple Clinton and her dream of becoming the first female president in the nation’s history. The shock waves will be felt for months and maybe years.