President-Elect Donald Trump: A Dark Day for the World

Jun Woo Kang, News Editor

So there is a global political earthquake that is the election of Donald Trump as the next president of the United States. President Donald Trump. Get used to it. He is going to represent the United States for four years.

To give Trump some credit, he had a single intuition: That American anger and anxiety in the face of the inexorable march of globalization had unfortunately reached a level that voters were ready for disruption at any cost. YAY!

But this is primarily an American catastrophe that America has brought upon itself. When it came to it, America failed to find a credible way of rallying against Trump and what he represents. Hillary Clinton failed that crucial test both in herself and in what she offered; for her this is the end. Trump was not taken seriously and was widely not expected to beat Hillary Clinton throughout the long, bitter campaign. At each stage, his candidacy was deemed certain to crash and burn. The opinion polls and the vaunted probability calculus rarely trended in his direction; both are discredited today. Only after the FBI director’s intervention, less than two weeks before the election, was it widely imagined that the tables might turn in Trump’s favour. Nevertheless by the eve of poll, Trump was again the outsider.

But now, we can only hope that President Trump is more thoughtful, inclusive and respectful of the Constitution than Candidate Trump, who was dismissive of the concerns of minorities, disrespectful of women and scornful of those who disagreed with him. We admit we are worried.

One of the biggest concerns is the impact of this result on the races in America. Trump campaigned against migrants and against Muslims, insulted black and Latino Americans, launched advertisements that some saw as covertly antisemitic, and was cheered to victory by every white racist in the land. His voters will want him to deliver. Every action he takes in this area threatens to divide and inflame. After a half century of uneven but undeniable racial progress in America, the consequences of every attempt to turn back the clock could be dire.

Another fear is whether Trump has any economic plan that will deliver for some of the poor communities that gave him their votes so solidly. Trump connected with the anger that many poor and white voters feel. But what can he do about it? What do most congressional Republicans care about it? He can try to put up all the protectionist walls he likes. But it seems difficult to see how he can bring old mines, mills and factories back to life.

The last fear is for the world. Trump’s win means uncertainty about America’s future strategy in a world that has long relied on the United States for stability. But Trump’s capacity to destabilise is almost limitless. His military, diplomatic, security, environmental and trade policies all have the capacity to change the world for the worse.

But the nation’s voters have spoken. Americans have done a very dangerous thing this week. Because of what they have done we all face dark, uncertain and fearful times. Now we must wait — and listen. The conciliatory tone of Trump’s victory speech overnight may signal that having achieved power, the president-elect will adopt a more statesmanlike tone commensurate with the power voters have given him.

It’s a new day. We need to hold true to our values and hope for the best. This is, after all, still America and still the world.

Jun Woo Kang is a sophomore at Gyeonggi Suwon International School. He has lived in Hungary and Korea.


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