Donald Trump has become the 45th President of the United States in an election that has sent tremors across the World.
The Republican candidate took key states such as Texas, Iowa and Utah, as well as Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and Florida which, amongst others, were assumed to be guaranteed wins for Hilary Clinton and the Democrats.
Very few people expected the result and the mood is very much one of disbelief as Barack Obama, a man who stood for progressive liberalism, hands over the keys to the White House to a Republican candidate endorsed by the KKK.
Here’s five reasons why Donald Trump was able to pull off an impossible election win:
It Was Their Brexit
For anyone keeping an eye on the so-called Fragile State Index, Britain leaving Europe and Trump’s election win may not have come as a big surprise. The index ranks countries of the world by how vulnerable they are to conflict and collapse and both the UK and the US have been slipping.
J.J. Messner, one of the people involved in the Fragile States Index, said just after the Brexit vote: “When the Brexit referendum occurred, we went back in the data … in the United Kingdom we found that over the last five years the Group Grievance indicator [a tool for measuring tension between groups] had pretty much been the only indicator that had worsened. What we also found was that it had worsened at the same rate as it has in the United States.”
By this assessment, it was actually quite evident that the United States was hurtling towards their Brexit moment.
Trump Mobilised The Cities
Most people assumed that Trump, like most Republicans, would mop up the vast rural, gun wielding, Chevy driving lands of America. But no one expected him to mobilise the cities.
Key to his win in Pennsylvania, Florida and other swing states wasn’t going after the rural votes but appealing to those closer to the nation’s blue-collar cities and smaller communities. According to Associated Press projections, Trump carried Florida by accumulating votes outside big, metropolitan areas such as the largely white and retiree-rich Hernando County, where the GOP’s 9-point margin from 2012 grew to 29 points. The same can be said of working-class Luzerne County, Pa., too, where Trump turned a 5-point Democratic lead from 2012 into a 13-point GOP advantage.
Americans Wanted Change
Of all the admirable things Clinton stood for, one thing she could never champion was change. The exit polls showed all the signs of this. Four in ten voters said they wanted the next president to bring “needed change”, with Trump also winning among those who called themselves dissatisfied or angry with the federal government.
This isn’t a purely Republican movement. Bernie Sanders galvanised the left in the race to become the Democratic candidate for President which could have led to what is called a “depressed vote”, whereby Democrats vote Clinton but fail to galvanise others to do so in the way they might have Sanders. Clinton has been involved in a political landscape many believe to be broken for decades, whereas Trump is fresh.
Trump won because of one thing: He told a working class battered by neoliberalism that it wasn’t their fault. So did Bernie. Clinton did not https://t.co/YVzpLM9MK6
— Jimmy Quick (@disastermouse) November 9, 2016
But Also More Of The Same
After 43 white male presidents some believe a female president following the first black president was a step too far for some Americans, and that’s certainly the social media reaction to it.
A bigoted, racist vote in favour of the white man may seem like an attempt to undermine our democratic processes and there is undeniably something very ‘Brexit’ about mudslinging in this regard, but one can’t rule out the possibility that nationalism and sexism are indeed rearing their ugly head again.
Spare me all the analysis, Trump won because this country is deep down a racist and sexist country. #ElectionNight
— Juan, P.E. (@jrivera64) November 9, 2016
Nobody Thought He Would Win
Trump didn’t have a cat’s chance in hell of winning the election before the results started filtering in, a sentiment that reflected most of his campaign since he was cast off as a 500/1 chance a few years ago. The New York Times went from giving Hilary Clinton an 85 per cent chance of winning when voting finished to 95 per cent in favour of Trump by about 3 am this morning.
Like Brexit, that mantra can soften the vote. If people think Trump can’t win they won’t mind voting for him as a protest vote, or not bother voting for Hilary in order to stop him. Most Brexit voters immediately regretted their decision when the outcome came out. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a wave of remorse in America too.
Brexit and Trump have shown that too many pundits and media people live in a London, New York and LA myopic bubble. #USElection2016
— Irvine Welsh (@IrvineWelsh) November 9, 2016