At 11:31 p.m. the announcement was made. Crowds of bleeding-red Republicans brandishing large signs and “Make America Great Again” hats delivered powerful cheers as Donald Trump, 70-year-old real-estate mogul, was named the 45th President of the United States, proving wrong the data, the pundits and the expectations that Secretary Hillary Clinton would be the first woman to hold presidential office.
Hallmarked by a campaign deemed eclectic and chaotic by the masses, Trump won Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, the swing states necessary to secure the election, and walked away with 279 electoral votes to Clinton’s 228. Republicans also won the U.S. Senate 51 to 47 and the House 239 to 192.
“For those who have chosen to not support me in the past — of which there were a 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,” Trump said in his acceptance speech.
The true race was between optimism and idealism, the end of a two-year battle between equally controversial candidates who offered scandals involving sexual assault and private email servers and strived for extreme social and economic changes. The movement has now begun on both sides to stand together and unify in a time of division.
“I think Trump is bringing in racism and everything (progressively) we’ve built toward he’s kind of destructing,” said Daniella Klaeb, freshman communication studies major. “I thought Clinton was going to sweep. She’s worked her whole life building people up and fighting for us. I know she was dislikable but I feel like she could have done more for the country.”
A historical election regardless of who would have taken office, Trump is the first president without any political or military experience under his belt — something that has helped him win voters over by not being entrenched in political rhetoric. “It was fantastic, the better nominee won,” said Micah Cassianni, junior industrial and systems engineering major. “Through the ups and downs he still pulled through and I knew he would. He’s going to change the sway of a lot of things happening right now for the better.”
Trump was known for his outlandish comments — particularly those against Clinton — and some questionable supporters, as well as the scrutiny over unreleased tax records and foreign business entanglements. He is a man of colorful diction and the vision of a better America, one that insists he loves this country and will reclaim its destiny. Clinton called him to concede her defeat and said “It’s about us,” as he reiterated the statement to the U.S. in his speech and commended her on her hard work.
“We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead,” Clinton said in her concession speech. “Our constitution democracy enshrines the peaceful transfer of power and we don’t just respect that, we cherish it.”