WE congratulate Mr. Donald J. Trump on his absolutely unexpected victory in the US presidential elections. The results put all bookmakers to shame, defied the numerous public opinion polls, and gave a lie to the prognostications of the pundits.
There can be no doubt that Donald Trump saw what most people did not, and heard what others had missed from the primaries to the election. His supreme confidence in his abilities was phenomenal. Only his die-hard supporters believed him, even his campaign team was preparing themselves for what they thought was an inevitable defeat.
At final count Trump had won 290 electoral votes to Hillary Clinton’s 232. Although she defeated him in the popular vote by polling 59,938,290 votes to his 59,704,886 which comes down to 233,404 votes difference in an election in which nearly 120 million people voted, Trump’s victory speech was probably the most conciliatory speech he has made throughout the 18-month campaign. He promised to be president of all Americans and spoke of a healing process to unite America after a decidedly fractious campaign.
Trump had cast a shadow on the election when weeks ago he refused to commit himself to accepting the results. Indeed, he said he would accept the result only if he won because he feared that the polls had been rigged. Fortunately, now, he won and his opponent has graciously accepted her defeat and promised to work with him for the good of the United States. President Barack Obama who had campaigned against Trump met with him last Thursday to help in the transfer of power, and has promised to do everything possible to ensure that the transition would be smooth, which is the hallmark of American democracy.
In spite of all the soothing, conciliatory remarks of America’s leaders, scores of millions of Americans feel sorely disappointed with Trump’s victory. Indeed, since last Wednesday, thousands of Americans have had peaceful demonstrations in at least 25 cities in the United States expressing their objections to Trump’s victory.
Such protests have been unprecedented and no one can remember when similar protests held in the past. The protests are a reflection of the bitterness and divisiveness which distinguished the campaign as one of the most acrimonious in recent memory. But we know the protests would die down when the reality of Trump’s victory has sunk and the aggrieved populace comes to terms with the inevitable.
Outside America’s borders, there is nervousness in Europe and Asia. Given Trump’s views on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and his implicit love for Vladimir Putin of Russia, we are not surprised that his victory has forced the European Union to hold an emergency meeting at which it was decided to invite Trump over to take a measure of his commitment to the NATO alliance and the security of Europe. |
But irrespective of what non-Americans feel or say about Trump, the reality is that Americans have spoken and their wishes are now known and the world has no choice but to deal with Trump as President. We have no doubt that given the strong institutions which the United States has built through the centuries, Trump’s extremist views are likely going to be moderated by institutional checks and balances. Besides, as the Americans say, you campaign in poetry but govern in prose.
He should avoid the Republican obsession of trying to undo Obama’s legacy especially the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) which has been of great benefit to over 20 million citizens. We also believe that as a gesture of goodwill, Trump should apologize to many groups he has insulted during the campaign and begin a genuine national reconciliation process. Because he is not a doctrinaire Republican, he is likely to be amenable to reaching some accommodation with Democrats on many issues. We wish him success.
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