Donald Trump won the US presidential election in a stunning victory, that sent shockwaves around the world. The New Yoork tycoon , who has defeated the expert prognosticators for almost 18 months, did it one more time, and on the day that counted the most.
The unpredictable nature of the Republican candidate and the effect this could have on voting intentions, the considerable discrepancies between polls, the large number of undecided voters and the large number of marginal states compared to 2008 and 2012 were all factors that made this electoral outcome difficult to predict. But still, although Trump’s popularity was increasing considerably, until few months ago, the fact remained that the markets were ruling out the possibility that Donald Trump could be elected President of the United States, as if the probability was so insignificant it was not worth worrying about. Same mistake as primaries, same mistake as Brexit. Instead here we’re with a Trump Presidency.
As I have constantly been repeating since my participation in the Conventions in July, Trump has intercepted the profound malaise of the Mid-West and not only; and Hillary was the worst candidate to oppose. In a splinter of a few weeks ago, I had underlined that, if Clinton was ahead in the states she needed the most, she would have won easily with more than 272 electoral votes, but if she lost a couple of traditionally democratic states, without at the same time taking a few Republican ones, she would have lost. And in the end it was happened.The Republicans took the key swing states of Florida, North Carolina and Ohio.
I think there are a few takeaways worth mentioning from this astonishing victory:
1) This election is emblematic of a political polarization in the United States that has been building for decades. Trump presidency reveals deep anti-establishment anger among American voters, something that I distinctively perceived this summer, both in Cleveland and in Philadelphia. But if he really wants to make America great again, he must soft some of his harshest claims (his first statement goes in this direction) and do anything meaningful to reach out to reassure Democrats, women, blacks and Hispanics Muslim Americans, viewing them as co-equal members of the American family;
2) Republicans have also secured majorities in the House of Representatives, the Senate and will probably get to reappoint a fifth Republican nominee to the Supreme Court. Checks and balances will make the democratic system work, especially when it comes to domestic and political economic policy;
3) On foreign policy, Trump has professed admiration for President Putin and once defined climate change a Chinese hoax; he has criticized the American-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; and he has demanded that the nation’s allies foot more of the bill for their defense. On this front, President Trump must immediately start campaigning to win the trust and respect of a constituency he completely ignored until now: foreign leaders and foreign public. They do not have a vote in the US election, but the US election results matter to the world.
4) One last word on Clinton, one of the most extraordinary and extraordinarily polarizing careers in American politics. The Democrats will now have to reflect seriously on their future and on the reasons why they were not able to express a stronger and more suitable candidate. But the good news for Democrats is that with Clinton now out of the way, the road is cleared for a new generation of leadership with far less baggage.
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