It was Election Night in the US. The world’s media was abuzz with predictions, estimates and statistics discussing the recent history of the US elections while projecting the winner of the 2016 Elections. A former US First Lady and former Secretary of State, Democratic Party’s Hillary Clinton with her years of political and diplomatic experience was running against a first-time presidential candidate, a businessman, and a reality show host, Republican Party’s Donald Trump.
The collective thought of the people of the US and the world was clear — Hillary Clinton was expected to become the first woman president in US history and the country’s next commander-in-chief on the morning of November 9, 2016. As the polling results began to pour in, Clinton had a lead over Trump. This was predictable. Citizens of the US were calm and composed that their choice would prevail, that Clinton would rule over the US with a vision to change it for the better. With her experience as the US Secretary of State, she was expected to adjust in the White House with ease, adapt to the new job well, and focus on strengthening the socio-political and economic foundation of the country.
Moreover, during the pre-election polls, Clinton had been in the lead. It was evident that it would be an easy win for her. The polling began. The world watched in anticipation. Clinton was eyeing a straight route to the White House. However, then came the twist. The picture began to change. The world stood silent. Trump began to lead but Clinton kept the momentum running. Then, it was evident. Silence turned to shock, the confidence of the world instilled in Clinton’s win turned to a shocking reality that Trump might win this election. The poll results were not what the world had expected to see.
Trump wins in Indiana and Kentucky. Trump wins West Virginia. Trump wins South Carolina, Tennessee and Oklahoma. Trump wins Texas, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. Then Trump won Ohio, the state having 18 Electoral College votes. History was repeating itself. Since 1964, whoever has won Ohio has won it all! It became certain that Trump is coming to the White House. Trump was closing to 270 electoral votes, and Clinton was trailing behind. Clinton was winning states but her victories were not good enough to trounce Trump. Times changed. History was written. Donald Trump became president-elect of the US. The Simpsons predicted his presidential win in 2000. It took 16 years for the cartoon prophecy to become real.
The US state media was humming with the reality they were considering a nightmare. Trump, a verbally abusive and an outspoken presidential candidate had been elected. Even the current US president, Barack Obama said, “Apparently, [Trump’s] campaign has taken away his Twitter. Now, if somebody can’t handle a Twitter account, they can’t handle the nuclear codes. If somebody starts Tweeting at three in the morning because SNL [Saturday Night Live] made fun of you, then you can’t handle the nuclear codes.”
The world began wondering about the sanity of the US people who voted for Trump. There were no questions. Only silent glares symbolising unanswered questions, doubts and confusion. The imminent question among the US population was evident: what will happen to the US now that Trump has won? The world knew what Trump thinks about the Mexicans, Canadians, Muslims and Latin Americans residing in the US. They are now concerned about Trump’s first 100 days in the presidency now that he is elected. The US election results were clear. No one expected a victorious Trump. It was a day no one will forget. It was 11/9 but it felt the other way around. The Republican camp was celebrating an upset win. When the dust of the election settled, Trump had 290 Electoral College votes while Clinton had 218. Trump even won key battleground states: Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Florida. Clinton, however, still has the popular vote.
The Democratic camp and the world were silent, trying to let the feeling sink in and asking what had happened but could not find the words. Trump triumphed, and made history by becoming the first US president-elect who had never served any political office or had any political or diplomatic experience whatsoever. Time will tell how Trump will lead America, and how his foreign policies will affect South Asia, Far East Asia, and the Middle East. How he will make things right for a country that is already shaking with his rise to the presidency. Pakistan, however, never wanted to be part of this political equation — Trump’s policies favouring India, and against the Muslims living in the US. It is expected Trump will change all foreign policies that Obama had implemented and will impose sanctions on Iran and Cuba. One thing is certain. Now that Donald Trump is in power, anything can happen. Goodbye, peace?