Written by Peter CarterNovember 10, 2016
Yesterday, Donald John Trump was elected the 45th president of the United States in 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 surprising outcome has shocked not only America, but most of the world.
Trump has defied late polls that showed Hillary Clinton leading the way throughout the campaign.
The biggest surprise in the saga is that Trump, 70, has no political experience, instead coming from a business and reality tv background. While Clinton has been in politics all her life.
Trump has been criticised for his slanderous and derogatory comments about women and his immigration views, such as building a wall between America and Mexico and banning Muslims from the US.
Mr. Trump, a thrice-married Manhattanite who lives in a marble-wrapped three-story penthouse apartment on Fifth Avenue, they found an improbable champion.
His rallies were furious, entertaining, heavy on name-calling and nationalist overtones, became the nexus of a political movement, with daily promises of sweeping victory, in the election and otherwise, and an insistence that the country’s political machinery was “rigged” against Mr. Trump and those who admired him.
He seemed to embody the success and grandeur that so many of his followers felt was missing from their own lives and from the country itself. He scoffed at the poll-driven word-parsing ways of modern politics, calling them a waste of time and money. Instead, he relied on his gut.
“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.
“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.”
During his victory speech, he offered unusually warm words for Mrs. Clinton, who in the past he suggested should be in jail, saying she was owed “a major debt of gratitude for her service to our country.”
At his victory party at the New York Hilton Midtown, where a raucous crowd indulged in a cash bar and wore hats bearing his ubiquitous campaign slogan “Make America Great Again,” voters expressed gratification that their voices had, at last, been heard.
Mrs. Clinton watched the grim results roll in from a suite at the nearby Peninsula Hotel, surrounded by her family, friends and advisers who had the day before celebrated her candidacy with a champagne toast on her campaign plane.
But over and over, Mrs. Clinton’s weaknesses as a candidate were exposed. She failed to excite voters hungry for change. She struggled to build trust with Americans who were baffled by her decision to use a private email server as secretary of state. And she strained to make a persuasive case for herself as a champion of the economically downtrodden after delivering perfunctory paid speeches that earned her millions of dollars.
Mr Trump is set to take the oath of office on Jan. 20. The world will have to wait and see what happens next.