Despite pre-election polls predicting a clear Clinton victory, Donald Trump was elected president of the United States last night. The Republican candidate won 306 electoral votes against his Democratic opponent’s 232 votes.
“Now it’s time for America to bind the wounds of division. We have to get together,” Trump said on stage after the results were announced. “To all Republicans and Democrats and Independents across this nation, I say it is time for us to come together as one united people. I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans, and this is so important to me.”
Trump asked those who opposed him for their support, guidance and help for the sake of unity.
Jason Maruca, executive director of the Los Angeles Republican Party, said the results of the election have strong implications for jobs, wages and taxes. He said Trump’s victory means redemption, revitalization and constitutionality for the nation as well as a better market for small businesses and free enterprise.
“Trump’s business expertise [will] provide entrepreneurs the economic climate conducive for the bottom-up technological innovation that advances our society forward,” Maruca said. “We will cut the national debt, increase law and order, place American interests first with our economy and foreign policy and make America great again.”
Maruca said Trump’s victory will expand the party and educate the public about limited government, fiscal responsibility and individual liberties. He said the Supreme Court justices he will appoint will give increased power to the states.
Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Professor of Political Science Jennifer Walsh, Ph.D., said she anticipates Trump’s first battle will be to appoint a Supreme Court justice, as the current vacancy and ideological split has been an issue. As is common with new presidents, Walsh said Trump will want to appoint more cabinet members who reflect his policy preferences and administrative vision. However, she said his positions will likely differ from what he claimed on his campaign trail.
“The agenda he lays out and the appointments he makes may not be as conservative as some would expect,” Walsh said. “Even the judge appointments that he has promised to make, he has shown that he has had a hard time sometimes staying true to a single position. He has changed his position on certain key policy issues over the course of the campaign.”
Walsh said the president will gather a large team to craft his agenda, including his plans to modify trade agreements, negotiate treaties and build a wall.
“I think that he’s laid out some really big ideas in sketch form, but he’d have to be much more attuned regarding detail and focus,” Walsh said.
Roger Conover, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Economics, Finance and International Business, said Trump’s presidency alone will not likely cause large changes to the economic policy, but the combination of a Republican House of Representatives and Senate will.
“The U.S. economy has rebounded quite significantly over the last couple of years, and a change in the presidency is not likely to seriously disrupt that,” Conover said. “Social unrest at home or international events might, but human beings are created creative. That ability to create value for each other and for themselves tends to show up no matter what party is in the White House.”
Associate Dean of the School of Theology Kenneth Waters, Ph.D., said the election caused a crisis of morality among voters and politicians. He said he viewed both candidates’ campaigns in light of Isaiah 5:20, which says, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil,” and he believes Americans will get new insight into what this means.
“In the case of both candidates and their campaigns, truth and integrity has taken a backseat to ideology and partisan politics,” Waters said. “Spin has become more important than facts, and smokescreens have taken the place of honesty.”
Junior communication studies major McKenna Johnson said she made her decision to vote for Trump based on what she has learned about past presidents in a history class she is taking.
“There’s going to be a huge shift from typical conservative views,” Johnson said. “Did I want a crazy person in office or did I want a liar in office? Historically, what happened with the crazy presidents versus what happened with the lying presidents, I went with my gut and voted for Trump, and it paid off.”
Senior biochemistry major Yara Arnouk said she voted for Trump because she felt like she knew what she was getting compared to the uncertainty she felt about Clinton. She said she comes from a family of immigrants and knows her decision to cast her ballot for him is uncommon considering her parents’ background.
“I see the importance of regulating [immigration],” Arnouk said. “It wasn’t for Trump, because I don’t like him as a person. In my opinion, it was the lesser of two evils.”
Office of Women’s Development undergraduate intern Cynthia Arroyo said she voted for Clinton because of her treatment of women and minorities. The junior English and journalism major said Donald Trump’s victory is negative for women because his words and actions make a statement that he does not value them.
“This is very bad for women,” Arroyo said. “I have very strong opinions about his campaign, and to me, there’s been a lot of offensive things said and done by Mr. Trump, especially toward women. It just goes to tell women again that they aren’t important. Trump clearly doesn’t value our humanity as women.”
Black Student Association president and senior social work major Jamilah Relf said she saw voting in the election as crucial to respecting African Americans who fought for their right to vote. She said advocating for diversity should be part of the American identity, which carries over to casting a ballot.
“I honor and respect many of my ancestors who risked their lives, shed blood and cried tears just for my right to vote,” Relf said. “I believe that any election that occurs should be one that I participate in.”