Tuesday was a day full of anticipation. The whole campus stirred with chatter about who the next President will be. It was the day that it had all be building up to. And like almost everyone else in the country, I stayed up to watch the results of the US Presidential election come in and shake the whole country. After having spent a lot of my time here learning a lot about the campaigns and the voting process I felt ready to try and understand everything that election day had to throw at me.
The results started to trickle in and Trump took an early lead, although, at this point it was way too early to tell if this was anything significant as many of the states declared were staunchly Republican. Also, the way the results come in rely heavily on projections for the state. I had been watching the coverage in my room but I felt it would be interesting to see what American students had to say, so I moved to the student centre which has rows of TV’s, all of which, not surprisingly were switched to CNN.
As the polls closed in stages over the country, it was quite hard to gauge how the vote would go. It relied heavily on the swing states. Surprisingly, the heavily Republican Texas swayed on the side of Clinton for a while, before reverting back to the red. Then the results for Florida came in. It had been so close but Trump won with roughly 49% of the vote. It was at this point that he may have a chance of winning – something all of the polls said wouldn’t happen. Many people happy, many people equally anxious. This campus seems to be heavily divided. Although, like many other places in Texas, the College Station area is quite Republican, it seems that many of the millennials were either in favour of Clinton’s more progressive policies or just heavily against Trumps way of thinking. As the night went on, it was clear the Democrats were having a bad time. At 2am, I finally decided it was time to go to bed; the results not looking good for Clinton but she was still optimistic. She had shut down her rally claiming through her campaign manager that it was not over.
I woke up to the news that Trump had won. The mood on campus has been mixed. Some people visibility upset and crying about what the country will become, many upset that their rights may be taken away. Others slightly more jovial that the establishment had been beaten. Either way, everyone I have encountered have respected other peoples opinions. I feel lucky to be in a place that has not experienced mass rioting and protests.
Even with the final results still coming in, it’s safe to say that Donald Trump will be the next president, although Clinton had won the popular vote – something that has only happened four times before now. The will of the silent majority has prevailed. It remains to be seen what will happen to the US when Trump assumes office.
Many think that this will be the end of America as we know it. Others that American will be great again. And then there are people who are more pragmatic. They think that even though its a top-down Republican system (the GOP having taken control both the House of Representatives and Senate also), that the Upper and Lower house will not allow some of the more extreme policies or that Trump may not even follow through. The general consensus amongst them seems to be that there will just be four years of stagnation.
In my opinion, it seems that the election has been deeply divisive and may lead to questions about the views that the American people are willing to support. An amusing thing to come from this is the news that the Canadian immigration website crashed as the results were declared.