In what was arguably the biggest political upset in reset history, Donald Trump narrowly defeated Hillary Clinton to take the title of 45th President of the United States of America. Despite repeated scandals on both sides of the election, as well as divisive rhetoric, many were left scratching their heads how the candidate-to-beat Clinton was unable to defeat dark horse Trump.
In fact, it seemed as if most media outlets, both at home and abroad, had Trump pegged not only to lose, but lose by a large margin. Just the opposite happened, as the nation watched in what became a nail-biting election evening as the two candidates spent most of the night neck and neck.
The Democratic Party, it seemed, made two flaws that cost them the presidency; complacency, and assuming their voter base. While Trump, and historically, the GOP, has always struggled to gain the increasingly important minority vote, with an emphasis on Black and Hispanic/Latin American voters, Trump had a sewn up the vast majority of white blue collar workers. Typically, this group votes Democratic on Election Day, and perhaps the Clinton camp assumed they wouldn’t break tradition like they had.
Despite a glowing and enthusiastic endorsement by former grand wizard David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan’s official newspaper, The Crusader, didn’t discourage many minority voters from siding with Trump. In fact, Trump secured more minority votes than even Mitt Romney did, Romney being far less divisive on issues than the GOP’s President elect. 29% of Hispanic and Latin American voters chose Trump, while 8% of African American voters chose him as well.
Despite the support of Caucasian, Black, Hispanic, Latino, and Asian voters, most exit polls have shown that the vast majority of voters are either unsure or even afraid of what Trump’s presidency may bring with it. Many Democrat voters have said that a Trump White House will set the Civil Rights clock back, diving the nation further than it already has, as well as limiting or even ending LGBTQ rights that current President Barack Obama made possible.
These fears are not unfounded; Trump’s VP choice Mike Pence has alluded to the support of the use of use of conversion therapy for gay teens, which may include the use of electrocution back in 2000 when he was a candidate for Congress. He has not, however, revealed whether or not he continues to support it 16 years later now when the country fears the worst.
Those in the most amount of fear now are Muslim Americans. Many have taken to social media to announce that they fear even wearing their hijab in public, and many aren’t even sure if they are still welcomed in the country. Syrian refugees, as well, are uncertain as to their immediate future as the attempt to flee their war-torn home.
Hopefully, President Trump meant what he said when he called for a time of unity during his acceptance speech. Even Obama attempted to bring a divided nation together, and one can only hope those words will bring a necessary verbal cease fire.