Cambridge reacts to Trump’s triumph in the American election

Amelia Oakley 9 November 2016

Donald Trump has been elected the 45th president of the United States of America. At around 7:30am GMT, Hillary Clinton conceded to Trump who was close to reaching the threshold of 270 votes needed to tilt the election in his favour.

However disturbing witnessing Trump’s election campaign and unprecedented win has been, the palpable disappointment, confusion and anger felt in Cambridge today is only magnified amongst those who call the USA their homeland.  The Cambridge Student has asked American students in our city to offer their reactions to Trump’s victory.

“How can a nation who voted for Obama and everything he stands for twice vote for this man even once?” Asked Melissa Gatter, a first year PhD student at Trinity Hall. “I don’t understand it. It’s Brexit 2.0.”

Adam Begley, an M.Mus in Choral Studies at Downing commented “as a faithful expatriate, I regularly pray for the future of the American experiment during each service of choral evensong.”

Jay Mens, a second year HSPS student at Gonville and Caius, told us that “anyone celebrating today is primarily celebrating either the victory of the lesser of two evils, or the end of the most divisive election in recent history.

“The last year has exposed, and exacerbated, fault-lines of a deeply-divided country. Irrespective of the result, millions of Americans were going to feel deeply alienated from their Head of State and disenchanted with the whole system. I fear that the noise of Trump's populism, chatter about the 'corrupt, rigged system' and clamour about the elite will echo long after Trump’s inauguration. This is not a very happy time.”

Isabel Singer, an MPhil Student reading History at Jesus, said: “I am scared. What future do Latinx people have in the U.S? What about undocumented people? Women? Disabled people? Muslims?

“What will happen to Roe v. Wade? What will happen to Obamacare, which I depend on for my health insurance? Will Trump push the First Amendment Defence Act, which would allow employers and landlords to discriminate against me for being Queer? Is there a future in the US for people who are not white, male, and above the poverty line? Do I have a future in the US?”

Finally, we spoke to Chase Caldwell Smith, a third year historian from Gonville and Caius, who said “as a proud son of an American father and an immigrant mother, as someone whose racial identity crosses oceans, and as someone who watched this night unfold abroad from a country that that has taken him in as a student and a friend, I am sickened. We have chosen hatred and fear as a nation. And that is now who I am, and that is not who we should be.”

Social media is also awash with disappointment and anger from university members – and the University itself – who are shocked by Trump’s win. What the fallout of a Trump presidency will be remains deeply uncertain, but this is undoubtedly the biggest and most shocking political decision we have seen in the West in our life times.