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(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

By Yosan Alemu, Wheaton North 

On November 8th, at approximately midnight central time, it was called that business mogul Donald J. Trump would be the next President of the United States.

Weeks prior, the media–according to an October 2016 issue reported by the New York Times–claimed Hillary Clinton was the likely victor in what would happen to be one of the most historic elections in American history. Despite the confidence the Democrats went in with at the beginning of election day, Trump and his supporters proved the nation otherwise. In a November 2016 Washington Post report, the election exit polls highlighted a dramatic shift in voter demographics. Although Clinton’s numbers were similar to past Democratic presidents, she failed to win-over the states Obama won in 2012 against Romney, states such as Pennsylvania, Iowa, and Florida. Clinton received fifty-two percent of the national women’s vote, while Trump trailed behind with forty-two percent. It should be noted that although Obama also won the women’s vote back in 2012, he amassed higher numbers when it came to white women support–something Clinton failed to achieve. In terms of educational backgrounds, individuals who were high school graduates voted for Trump while individuals with postgraduate degrees voted for Clinton. Both millennials and city dwellers voted for Clinton, while baby boomers and individuals in rural areas voted for Trump. Furthermore, Trump won over the Evangelical and Catholic vote, while the Jewish population gave their votes to Clinton.

Trump’s victory has undoubtedly amplified the divide within our country, as stated by CNN political commentator Van Jones. According to journalist Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept, Trump’s victory has been deemed the U.S. version of Brexit, driving the far left and the far right to be more polar than ever. In an effort to heal these wounds, Trump has vowed to assemble a White House political team that is more experienced and diverse, writes The Guardian. Trump is not expected to officially select any names for his Cabinet, but he has made some preliminary selections in the few weeks since the election. According to Tal Kopan, a reporter with CNN, a handful of declared nominees include South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley for UN ambassador and Ben Carson for Housing and Urban Development.

In an L.A. Times news report published in November 2016, Trump’s election has given the alt-right the opportunity to find a place in mainstream politics. The alt-right’s first stop: The White House. The term “alt-right” was coined by Richard Spencer, founder of AlternativeRight.com. Spencer’s website is a hub for anti-establishment, anti-semitic right wingers skeptical of Bush-era Republicans. In a recent viral video, Spencer is seen shouting the words “Hail Trump! Hail our people!”, while members in the audience shoot off the Nazi salute as affirmation for his white nationalist proclamations. Trump’s decision to select Stephen Bannon, the former figurehead of Breitbart News, as chief strategist raised several questions across the country and even the world. Bannon, also a prominent figure in the alt-right community, has vowed to provide vision for Trump, as stated in a November 2016 article by Fox News.

2016 has been a year full of twists and turns, and as Trump prepares to be inaugurated in January of next year, Americans from both sides of the political spectrum will lie in wait for what’s to come.

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