by Corrine Previte ’17
On Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016, U.S. citizens waited anxiously as one of the most grueling elections in the history of politics came to a close.
By 3:00 AM the results revealed that the Republican nominee Donald Trump had won the presidential election.
“I’ve just received a call from Secretary Clinton. She congratulated us. It’s about us. On our victory, and I congratulated her and her family on a very, very hard-fought campaign,” Trump stated as he accepted the victory. Trump furthered his speech and said, “It is time. I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be President for all of Americans, and this is so important to me. For those who have chosen not to support me in the past, of which there are few people, I’m reaching out to you for your guidance and your help so that we can work together and unify our great country.”
The rest of Trump’s victory speech included promises to fix our inner cities, rebuild our highways, bridges, tunnels, take care of our veterans, and to “embark upon a project of national growth and renewal.”
Trump also hopes to create a new economic plan and to create the strongest economy in the world. Overall, Trump plans to seek common ground among U.S. citizens. At the end of the race, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton gave her concession speech. Clinton began her speech with an apology, “Last night, I congratulated Donald Trump and offered to work with him on behalf of our country. I hope that he will be a successful president for all Americans. This is not the outcome we wanted or we worked so hard for, and I’m sorry that we did not win this election for the values we share and the vision we hold for our country.” Clinton began to go over the election, and how she was “so grateful” to have stood with all of us. She not only thanked us, but she also thanked Tim Kaine, Anne Holton, her family, and both Barack and Michelle Obama. Clinton not only thanked those who supported her during this campaign but addressed the female population specifically with words of encouragement. Clinton said, “And—and to all the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams.”
Lastly, in one of her concluding remarks, Clinton said that she believes that “we are stronger together and we will go forward together. And you should never, ever regret fighting for that.” One of her final words was in reference to scripture, saying, “Scripture tells us, ‘Let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.’” With that, Clinton wrapped up her 2016 election campaign.
By the time the nominees finished their speeches, it became evident to the American public that a severe level of division demarcating in the U.S. has evolved. Many U.S. citizens were elated about the results, others were devastated and left in tears. Riots began to surge across the country, from threats of killing Trump to burning of the American flag. Social media websites, such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, also erupted after the results were announced. Even the Canadian immigration website crashed on the day of the election, as many Americans were researching how to migrate north and exit the U.S. Not only were people trying to leave the country, the state of California even went to the extreme and proposed the idea to secede from the U.S.
Although many were devastated, others were also pleased by the results of the election. For instance, after the results of the election were revealed, Russian President Vladimir Putin called to congratulate Trump on his victory. Putin also proposed the idea of restoring ties with the U.S.
Concluding this election cycle, President Obama left the country with these words, “I am looking forward to doing everything that I can to make sure that the next President is successful in that. I have said before, I think of this job as being a relay runner—you take the baton, you run your best race, and hopefully, but the time you hand it off you’re a little further ahead, you’ve made a little progress. And I can say that we’ve done that, and I want to make sure that handoff is well-executed, because ultimately we’re all on the same team.”
After this speech, Obama invited Trump to the White House on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016 to discuss Trump’s transition into the White House at the start of 2017.
“My number one priority in the next two months is to try to facilitate a transition that ensures our President-elect is successful,” said President Obama.
Both men left the meeting on a positive note. According to CNN, Trump looks forward to working with Obama in the future.
*Quotes from CNN