Donald J. Trump Wins 2016 Election

Emily Ball

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After a year-and-a-half long campaign, Americans voted Donald J. Trump as the 45th President of the United States on November 8, 2016.

  Candidates need 270 electoral votes to be victorious. Trump won by a narrow margin with 279 electoral votes, while Hillary Clinton had 228 votes. Trump also took the Rust Belt and flipped states such as Iowa, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin that had previously supported Obama. In addition, he is now backed by Republican majorities in both the Senate and House of Representatives. Though the country elected Trump, Walpole backed Clinton, as she won with 7,129 votes over Trump’s 5,981 votes.

  Several Walpole High School students travelled to Washington D.C. for six days during the time of the election with the Close Up program — an organization that sponsors both middle school and high school trips to D.C. in order to provide students with a firsthand experience in American politics and government. Walpole High School students who participated in the program expressed the value of being in the nation’s capital at the time of the election.

  “It was really cool to be surrounded by the political process while it was taking place on such a large scale. Even though it was obviously a very contentious and tense place to be at that time, it felt alive and in a way how it should always feel,” said senior Padraic Curran.

  In addition to the excitement brought about by the Close Up experience, students had varied reactions to the results of the election.

  “Personally, I would have liked Hillary to win,” said senior Meredith LoRusso. “But life is what it is, and all we can do now is hope that our country can survive these next four years with Donald Trump as our president.”

Other Walpole High School students felt differently about the outcome of the election.

  “People are acting like Donald Trump is the end all dictator of America. They’re forgetting about other branches of government, and they’re forgetting that congress is far more powerful than he is,” said senior Jill Sweeney. “I think we owe him an opportunity to lead instead of assuming the worst.”

  The mixed reactions of Walpole High School students regarding the election correspond with conflicting perspectives across the country. For example, many Clinton supporters remain disheartened about the results of the election. Clinton publicly displayed her feelings about the loss in a post-election tweet: “This loss hurts. But please never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it.” With anti-Trump rallies in major cities such as Los Angeles, New York and Philadelphia, Clinton supporters have taken this plea to heart, as they have literally lined the streets in protest to fight a Trump Presidency.

  On the other hand, Trump supporters excitedly await for Trump to announce his cabinet. So far, Trump has selected Reince Priebus as White House Chief of Staff and Stephen K. Bannon as Chief Strategist. The rest of the positions have yet to be decided.

  Like Clinton, Trump wrote a post-election message to his 14 million twitter followers: “Such a beautiful and important evening! The forgotten man and woman will never be forgotten again. We will all come together as never before.”

  Trump now aims to unite a largely divided American public.

With Trump now elected as the next President of the United States and a divisive campaign season behind them, American citizens are anxious to see how important issues like immigration, terrorism and abortion will evolve in the future as Trump works to “Make America Great Again.”