LETTER: Trump might surprise us all

November 19th, 2016 4:00 PM

By Southern Star Team

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SIR – US President-elect, Donald Trump, has unsettled many.  He can’t force Mexico to build a wall between their countries. He said it to get attention. He is an unknown as to will he really do all he said in the campaign.

Hilary Clinton won the majority vote by 47.9% to Mr Trump’s 47.5%. She lost the electoral college, because he won a majority of the states. 69% of Hispanic women, 94% of black women and 47% of white women voted for her. 

She could take comfort from Democrat Presidential intellectual candidate, Adlai Stevenson, who lost in 1952 and 1956 to Dwight Eishenhower. He thought of going again in 1960, but was outshone by John F Kennedy who won the party nomination. The US Presidential election was like the referendum in the UK when the overall majority voted to leave the EU against what was expected.

Some 121m Americans voted not to please the political commentators, the media or pollsters or Europe. They voted across their country, which isn’t only the big cities a lot of the international media focus on. Nearly all the media were against Mr Trump. The New York Times, worried he could win, endorsed for the first time a presidential candidate, Hilary Clinton.

It follows Europe where more voters are leaving traditional politics in countries affected by years of economic austerity. It took three months to form a government here after our last general election, which had a mixed result. 

Mr Trump plans to reduce US corporation tax from 35% to 20% or 15% for American firms to provide more jobs in the US and not overseas. It’s not what we want to hear as they provide thousands of jobs in Ireland.

I hoped Hilary would win. She was vastly experienced in foreign and domestic politics. 

Her husband, Bill, gave the Northern Ireland peace process his full support.

 He made the late night phone calls to coax all sides to make an agreement, which they did.

Mr Trump may be the one to make a few changes to the status quo. But he said he wants to abolish the J1 Visa programme, popular with Irish students in the summer. He can’t, as president, do as he likes as the Congress can moderate or vote against wilder presidential plans. 

The irony is that, when Bill Clinton was elected US president in 1992, it was because the Clintons were new and not part of the political clique in Washington DC. This time, Hilary was seen as long part of it. It is not the norm for the Democrat or the Republican parties to be given three terms in a row.

President Obama shook hands with Donald Trump when they met in the White House to start the transition – his disappointment in the election result palpable. Mr Trump may surprise and be an effective force in politics. 

We have to wait and see.

Mary Sullivan,


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