Donald Trump has defied the critics – and almost every poll in the lead-up to November – to snatch the US presidency from Democrat hopeful Hillary Clinton.
Shortly before 6pm AEST, American media – and our own Antony Green from the ABC – called the state of Pennsylvania for Trump. It was the last hurdle the celebrity billionaire needed to scale to reach the White House.
Some American media were slower to call it – that’s in large part because of past errors in calling the election before time (think Gore in 2000).
As counting continues, Trump is expected to draw close to 300 electoral college votes. He’s also delivered a stunning victory in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. In short, the Republicans will have complete control of the federal American political system for at least the next two years, with a stunning majority of about 50 seats in the House, and a slimmer margin of three in the Senate.
Hillary Clinton headed home a bout half an hour after media started calling the election – she decided not to appear before her supporters, and not to concede defeat. The Trump camp pointed to the rich irony, given what transpired after the third Presidential election debate, when Trump was monstered for refusing to state publicly he would accept the result of the election.
But by 6:30pm AEST, Clinto had phoned Trump to concede defeat.
In response to Trump’s win, The American stock market went into meltdown. Australia’s began tanking as well, with more than $30 billion wiped off it at the close of trading.
Asian markets were also in uproar. This is Brexit all over again, but obviously quite a bit more serious.
Contrary to popular belief, it turns out you can insult the grieving parents of a dead war hero; you can brand the men of an entire neighbouring country rapists; you can boast about sexual assault and ‘grabbing women on the pussy’; you can mock the handicapped; you can encourage violence at your political rallies… and still be elected to the most powerful office on earth.
That’s what Donald J Trump did, and that’s what he has now done.
Shortly before 7pm AEST time, Trump began giving a victory speech, and revealed that CLinton had phoned him to concede defeat.
He pledged to be an American president for “all Americans… from all races, religions, backgrounds and beliefs”, and to being the process of “binding the wounds” of America.
“Working together, we will begin the task of rebuilding our nation….
“The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.”
Trump also pledged to be a friend to all nations who wanted to be a friend to America. He promised to seek peace with other nations, and treat them fairly.
“It’s been what they call an historic event. But for it to be a really historic event, we’ve got to do a great job. And I promise not to let you down.”
As Trump celebrates, no sign yet of Clinton. But the recriminations will have already started. Clinton lost the unloseable election, and based on the information that came out of the Wikileaks campaign, she did it dishonestly.
Tomorrow morning, she’s going to have some explaining to do.
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