TONI THORNE: How Trump did it
I BET YOU $50, most of us didn’t see Donald Trump being the president-elect of the United States of America this lovely Sunday morning. On election night, I was at the United States Embassy’s election watch party.
There were quite rightfully two cut-outs of the candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump for guests to take pictures with. Most of the Barbadians I saw rushed to take pictures with Clinton’s. Trump’s cut-out stood as lonely as an “outside woman” on the night of Hurricane Matthew.
It was at 4:30 a.m. while rolling out of my bed that I shouted to inquire who had won. This came as no major shock. It is my opinion that because Barbados is more than 80 per cent African descent, our views and perspectives mostly mirror those of the blacks in America – who are a minority. As a result, many refuse to watch Fox News, have not even bothered to examine the reasons anyone would vote for Trump; and inquire whether the news touted by the networks which Democrats and Democrat-supporters align themselves with, was accurate about polls. As a result, Facebook was flooded with statuses which expressed anger and disbelief. However, most people feel very invested in these elections (American or not) and although it has been stated by economist Jeremy Stephens that Barbados tends to enjoy better relations with America under Republican administrations, this president-elect has claimed for his entire campaign to be anti-establishment. As a result, we shall have to wait and see.
The question on everyone’s lips and finger tips (social media) is: “How in the world did Donald Trump win?” Below is a list of a few reasons I suspect he did. Please bear in mind that I am no Peter Wickham and I am sure he would have the full stats and analysis. However, this is my assessment from social media and by watching both left and right-wing media.
Here are my four basic reasons.
LOW VOTER TURNOUT
Although the final results will not be confirmed until a few weeks have passed, it is clear that the voter turnout in this election was lower than usual and this may have helped Trump. According to CNN and other reputable news sites, voter turnout sunk to its lowest in two decades. Statistics posted showed only 55 per cent of voting age persons cast votes. It is almost as though members of the electorate felt they had to choose between the “lesser of two evils” and therefore did not vote at all.
THE PROBLEM WITH HILLARY
Perhaps we have forgotten that this is the very same America that chose the African-American with a middle name of “Hussein” who had much less experience than Mrs Clinton. In a previous article, I outlined the reasons Clinton might not have won the election. She was viewed by many as “untrustworthy” and “careless”. For others, particularly Democrats, it was felt that America and the elections would have seen a different result if Bernie Sanders had won the nomination.
TRUMP IS “ANTI ESTABLISHMENT”
Having heard both Trump’s acceptance speech and his speech with Obama after their 90-minute meeting when he referred to Obama as a “good man”, one thing became very clear. A campaign strategy is not the same as a governance strategy. Like here, politicians will knowingly or unknowingly promise and do things on the campaign trail that whilst in office will not actualise. Many Americans grew tired and angry at the way politics and “the establishment” both within the Democratic and Republican parties operated. For many, Trump represented a breath of fresh air. For some he represented a whiff of a fart. Either way, he represented a wave of change.
THE VENGEANCE OF WHITE WORKING CLASS AMERICA
Particularly in the Upper MidWest, people of these states have not been too keen on Clinton. Although there have been benefits to the trade policies she supported, there are many who have been disadvantaged by, especially, the Trans-Pacific Partnership. As a result, this aspect of the electorate (heavily consisting of white, working class Americans) voted with as much vengeance as the British in Brexit. Their votes echoed sentiments such as “Enough is enough!” and Trump’s “Make America great again” heavily resonated with them. Perhaps they also felt that Obama and policies such as Obamacare (which Trump is now saying he may keep key aspects) were too socialist and electing a female president was an act which was taking America down a “wild, dangerous ride”.
God bless America.
Toni Thorne is a young entrepreneur and World Economic Forum Global Shaper who loves global youth culture, a great debate and living in paradise. Email: [email protected]