Donald Trump has won the US presidential election.
Hillary Clinton was a formidable candidate and while the popular vote was very close, the US presidential election is done by electoral college, which Donald Trump won convincingly.
The election campaign was quite divisive and a large number of Americans will be upset by the result, as indeed will many people from our country. Personally, I did not agree with some of the things that Donald Trump said during the election campaign and he has a lot of bridge-building to do.
But his message of ‘making America great again’ clearly resonated with the US electorate and we should all respect the result and treat the new President-elect with respect and civility. The USA is a major trading and military partner of the UK and we will wish to work with the new President to continue and strengthen our ‘special’ relationship – a relationship that may become even more important as we leave the EU.
As with BREXIT, the pollsters, the media and political commentators have some questions to answer. They got it wrong. I have lived and worked in the US for many years and know that ‘Middle America’ thinks, acts and votes differently to LA and New York where the commentators tend to spend most of their time. Many Americans don’t like being told what to do by the media and the establishment any more than Britons do; and – as with BREXIT – I’m sure this anti-establishment, anti-politics feeling was a factor in turnout and the decision making of many voters.
Some Britons will not be able to understand why the US has voted in the way it has, but I do call on everyone to respect the will of the American people. British politicians will need to work constructively with the new President who has over a period of many years expressed great respect for our country. I hope Donald Trump will now be able to leverage his considerable business skills to good effect in the political arena.
I was pleased to see that in his acceptance speech Donald Trump struck a far more conciliatory and unifying tone than we saw during much of the election campaign and I hope this more positive and inclusive tone will continue into the transition period and his presidency. He said he wants to be a President for ‘all Americans’ in which “every American will be given the opportunity to reach his or her full potential” and I wish him the very best of luck delivering on this promise.