Anna Brecher, Editor-in-Chief
Donald Trump’s election as the next President of the United States was unforeseen, shocking Greenwich High School students in the early morning hours of Wednesday, November 9th, when the final results were tallied. Michigan, Wisconsin, Florida, and Pennsylvania were the key determinants as to who would win the election, and the electoral votes up for grabs until around 2 a.m. In the end, the previously blue states voted red. Trump won the remaining 75 electoral votes, securing his victory as the new commander-in-chief of the United States of America.
Some viewed that Wednesday as a day of mourning. The liberal students at Greenwich High School wore black clothing to demonstrate their anger and sadness, feeling unsure of how America would be governed under the control of a man with a spitfire tongue, blunt demeanor, and seemingly rash decision-making.
Throughout the election season, Trump had portrayed himself differently than any other politician vying for, arguably, the most powerful position in the nation. He campaigned on a platform of building a wall along the Mexican border and deporting millions of illegal immigrants. His “locker room talk,” a video with reporter Billy Bush from 2005, was exposed to the public by the Washington Post, where he is shown discussing how his celebrity status enabled him to engage in sexual behaviors with any women he wanted. His ongoing feuds with Rosie O’Donnell and Megyn Kelly offended women across the nation because of his derogatory allusions to how O’Donnell resembled a “pig”, and how Kelly’s menstrual cycle affected her mood.
Marley Kaplan, a senior at Greenwich High School and volunteer coordinator of the Young Democrats club, said, “Knowing that this many people supported him even when they knew what he had said about women, about other races, about Muslims, about disabled persons, about members of the LGBT community scares me because it makes me realize how many people there are who truly believe in all the thing she has said. As a woman, it offends me. As an ally, it offends me. As someone who is accepting toward other races and religions, it offends me. And as an American, it offends me.”
On the flip side, Trump’s widespread appeal was downplayed by the media. He appealed to the masses due to his “outsider” position, as he was not involved in politics previously (unlike Hillary Clinton, whose entire career has been politically-oriented). In addition, Trump’s honesty was refreshing: his rhetoric was not tailored to the political elite, instead many citizens could relate to his fiery diction and tone. Trump’s success as a businessman, through owning casinos, hotels, and apartment buildings, appealed to people who believed that the economy needed help recovering. His confidence about forming relations with President Vladimir Putin of Russia and encouraging President Enrique Nieto of Mexico to fund the construction of the wall were other selling points for a certain demographic of American citizens.
So why was his election to office so surprising? This is mainly because the polls had not been indicative of Trump’s success. Hillary Clinton had been favored by the New York Times, the Washington Post, and many other major news outlets. If any candidate was experienced to lead the nation, she had the knowledge. Clinton was the First Lady of the United States, a U.S. Senator from New York, and the Secretary of State. She had the education and credentials to be the President of the United States. However, she ultimately could not prove herself to be trustworthy and reliable, as her reputation was tarnished by the email scandal, the Benghazi hearings, and her marriage to Bill Clinton.
What will Trump’s presidency bring? It’s hard to say, as he is somewhat of a wildcard candidate. His lack of political experience is concerning to some, but refreshing to others. However, the citizens reaffirmed their support for the Republican Party by reelecting Republican Senators and Congressmen, permitting the Republicans to retain the majority in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Jim Himes, a Democrat and the representative for Connecticut’s 4th congressional district, claims, “Being in the minority makes it much more challenging to pass legislation, but I hope to be able to find areas of common ground with which to work with Republicans.” Already, Trump has vowed that the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize gay marriage in 2015 will not be overturned. The issue of abortion will most likely fall back to being decided by individual states, and apparently, part of the wall is now going to be a fence. It most certainly will be an interesting four years.