Liberal Column

Trump’s victory reflects poorly on character of Americans

/ The Daily Orange

In one of the most controversial presidential elections of all time, this was the ending that seems the most fitting. In the history of the United States of America, only one presidential candidate, Wendell Willkie, had won the nomination of a major political party without the benefit of any sort of governmental experience. Now, in January, the second such candidate will be sworn into the highest office in the land.

Donald Trump, a candidate few believed would advance out of the primaries, defeated Hillary Clinton in stunning fashion. It is a result that brings historic implications: A man of Trump’s ilk has simply never managed to make it this far in America’s 240-year history.

Early on in the night, polls tended to favor a Clinton victory. But that projection did not take hold. Trump won surprisingly won the battleground states, including North Carolina, Florida and Iowa. Watching Florida and North Carolina flip-flop between red and blue seemed to suggest that the election was up in the air, but Trump quickly pulled away. In an election that most Trump supporters believed would be tight, Tuesday’s result was anything but.

As the focus shifts away from the election and the nation collectively realizes that we are now living in a Mac Miller song, one question remains to be answered: How will Donald Trump “Make America Great Again?”

In many ways, the crux of the Trump campaign is now a horrifying reality. Trump’s unabating insistence that the United States is a broken state to be fixed by brash and undefined policies will soon substantialize. Will mass deportation, restrictions on immigration and isolationist foreign policy remedy the ills that supposedly plague this country?

The answer is simple: it doesn’t matter. Despite the intentional vagueness of Trump’s campaign, one thing has become vociferously clear: Donald Trump does not care what people think about him.

That in itself is a terrifying trait for a president to possess. If the leader of the free world feels no obligation to serve those whom he represents, he has no incentive to champion the betterment of his people. A self-serving president is a worrisome proposition, as it creates an aura of unpredictability around the Oval Office.

Calling it unabashed originality, Trump’s supporters treat his departure from the norm as his best feature, arguing that it is what sets him apart. In a business, that might be a useful asset — or maybe not — but it is important to remember that the U.S. government is not a company. The singular objective in business is to make money, whereas the complexities of our multifaceted government stretch far beyond raising the GDP. Put simply, Trump has not proven to be up to the challenge of running this country.

From immigrants to people of color to women who have the audacity to believe that they deserve the right to govern their own bodies, millions of people nationwide will wake up Wednesday morning to a harsh new reality. With Republican control of the Senate and the presidency, Trump’s ridiculous policies have a legitimate chance to materialize.

Nevertheless, barring an unforeseen turn of events, Trump will take office in January — the results of which will affect our country for years to come.

Ryan Dunn is a freshman history major. His column appears weekly. He can be reached at rarozenb@syr.edu.

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