Donald Trump has been elected the 45th President of the United States of America, beating all expectations, defying virtually every major poll. His unexpected triumph in the American presidential election has not just confounded the native Americans but also its huge diaspora community.
Most of diaspora had supported Hillary Clinton as they feared that Trump, if elected, would come true on his promise to crack down on undocumented immigrants and tighten the country’s borders.
Many are also exasperated at how the openly misogynistic and xenophobic Trump was able to gain the confidence of the vast majority of American, given that the country itself was established by immigrants and diversity has been one of its biggest selling points abroad.People also fear that his hardline foreign policy could strain America’s relations with other countries, restricting the easy movement of people and goods in and out of America.
The Week spoke to some people in the US to know what’s going on in their minds at the moment.
Biken Thapa, California
Trump is a man with little knowledge. He has no idea about many, many things but he is especially clueless when it comes to foreign policies. The election result was a huge shocker but I guess all the voters were tired with the American constitution. Perhaps they were angry and wanted to give Trump a chance to see what changes he might bring, regardless of the fact that he is racist, a legal threat to all illegal immigrants, and social media provoker. For me personally, it will take his administration to really step up their game and entirely clean the Obama/Clinton administration to earn even a semblance of trust. Maybe, as bold as he is, he will. I wish him luck.
Having said that, it will take time for all of the disappointed people to come to terms with the sad fact that Trump has won the election. I guess what makes Trumps victory so burdening is the opposing values. His message of hate spread like wildfire and has divided the country. It hurts to live in a world (neighborhood full of republicans, in my case) where anyone who is not a white male is made to feel subhuman. I feel we are headed for scary times but America right now can take some solace in the fact that it’s always been a nation where all kinds of people live together and not feel divided.
Chanda Thapa, New York
My head is spinning. I don’t know what the future holds for America. If we are to take Donald Trump’s word for what he plans to do, then the future is pretty bleak on the civil rights front. Of my biggest fear of Trump presidency is the future of the Supreme Court. During his tenure, he gets to appoint at least one Justice; maybe two, if something were to happen to the liberal stalwart, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who is already 83 years old. That’s just a scary thought because his appointees will more likely than not erode the rights that women and minorities have thus far achieved. The Court will have far reaching implications for generations to come. My heart aches at the thought of Trump occupying the executive branch with the Legislative and the Judiciary to do his bidding. God help America.
Abhishek Chhetri, Texas
I’m anxious about the election results because I don’t know what to expect now. I did not want this, like most people I know; and like most of them had very little say in this. I’m trying to judge him based on his life’s achievements and not on everything he has said in last one year.
Despite the constant xenophobic rhetoric, his immigration policy might prove to be better for legal non-immigrant workers who are looking to build more permanent futures here, compared to the Democrats whose immigration policies cater more towards illegal aliens.
However, his stances on issues like global warming, women and LGBT rights make me apprehensive. Republican government’s tendency to dismiss science in favor of religion (Christianity) is something I find highly troubling. Only time will tell how his presidency will turn out. Judging by the power he just got with a Republican House, a Republican Senate, and soon to be a conservative supreme court, we won’t have to wait long to see how this unfolds. I just hope this government isn’t as racist, sexist, ignorant and oblivious as many people who put them there.
Sushan Dhakal, Washington DC
It’s mostly shock at the moment. Especially after the current presidency, the belief was that America had taken up a different, more progressive track. How did America go from voting for Obama in two terms to Trump? My American friends feel a little lost. Here in Washington DC only 7% voted for Trump so many are shocked and agitated by the results.
Majority of the Nepalis here don’t like the prospects of this either. As a minority, it is hard not be to concerned. If Trump’s apathy and aggressive stance towards the immigrants, LGBT community, women was appalling before and now it’s downright terrifying. Personally, I think the America that we believed in is in shambles. There is a lot of talk about white supremacy going around among the masses right now. It certainly seems that the conservatives have had their way in this election. Everybody is still in a state of confusion so I won’t be making any assumptions about the future yet.
Rajeev Khatry, Texas
This was one of the worst elections in American history. I have been here for 26 years and have seen quiet a few elections but none of this scale not in just terms of nastiness but in terms of a free democratic county this was an example of. Clinton had lot of negative points too. But she was helped a lot by the media. Election shouldn’t be about electing the first black/first woman/first Hispanic or the first Asian leader. It should be about who is going to do the country good.
Trump is an arrogant bully while Clinton is a liar and power hungry opportunist. So, for me, it wasn’t about who was better in this election it was about who is lesser of the two evils. However, Trump said some things that were really bad but it made sense. If he said he wants to build a wall or have a stronger immigration laws, what is wrong with that? It’s human nature to always want to think of yourself and your family first. So why can’t that be the case where the country is concerned? He’s definitely not my choice for President but some things he says do make sense.
I think what happened in the elections this time around was that the Trump supporters and fans showed up to vote while the rest didn’t bother. What’s done is done and now we can only hope that Trump doesn’t act the way he acts normally when he is President and make big decisions calmly and takes advice from others as well.
January Hentschke, Nebraska
Trump’s victory struck like an earthquake. The seismic shift of American values has shook me to the core and has been nothing less than earth shattering. The cracks have cut deep and divided the nation. Trump’s campaign was full of hate, sexism, misogyny and racism. His rhetoric has crumbled America’s very foundation.
You can say I’m in mourning. I’m fearful for the future. As a mother of three biracial children, I worry if they will be treated as less than equal. However, I take great heart in knowing that my children have been raised not to hate. They have been raised to be kind and to be accepting of one another. They’ve been taught that it’s not okay to be a bigot or to bully. They have been taught to respect others. They’ve been taught that we are all equal and that we all deserve equal rights. Even though Trump has changed the political landscape of America, I still believe in the importance of being a decent human being and that one should never give up the fight for what’s right. After all, love trumps hate!
Dannah Dennis, Virginia
I’m deeply grieved and ashamed that Trump has been elected. The deep-seated problems of racism, xenophobia, and misogyny that plague the US have been brought to the surface and given legitimacy through the Trump campaign. I wish that my fellow Americans who voted for Trump had thought more deeply about the potentially disastrous effects that his presidency will have not only for this country but for the whole world. However, I also want to point out that voter turnout was low overall, and the majority of people who did vote voted either for Hillary Clinton or for third-party candidates. The fact that Trump was able to win the election in spite of these facts points to some serious flaws within our political system, which I hope will be addressed in the coming years
Gaurav Nirola, Massachusetts
This is how democracy works. People spoke. There were many who were fed up with bureaucrats and Washington gridlock and they were desperate for some change. In hindsight, everybody obviously underestimated the number of these change seekers and the extent of their wish but here we have it, democracy at work. Despite Trumps rhetoric speeches and scandalous remarks, people made their choice.
The mood of the country right now differs from state to state. Living in Massachusetts, a liberal state though the feeling of disappointment is quite apparent. Our Nepali community here was heavily invested in the election and the feeling is the same among them as well. But I’d still say, it’s very early to tell exactly how this Trump presidency will go. I won’t predict anything. I am not worried about my status in the country yet either. We need to wait and see how it will play out.
Astha Baral, Ohio
This was the first time I got to vote in the American presidential election and I voted only for one reason: to keep Trump out of the White House. But my vote was wasted, I guess. Not even in our wildest imagination did we think he would win the overall presidential election. I mean nearly all my friends and colleagues in the US voted for Clinton. Following Trump’s victory, there is a state of shock, as people are still struggling to come to terms with what his win means to them personally. Trump, in his campaign trail, vowed to crack down in undocumented and illegal immigrants. If he keeps his promise, potentially thousands of Nepali families living in the US could be affected. I also fear that the gun laws, which are already lax, could be further loosened. As a mother of two children, I’m really concerned about the proliferation of gun-related violence in the US in the past few years. All in all, I look forward to Trump presidency with a lot of foreboding and fear.