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Will Trump’s victory affect our special relationship with the US?

13 Dec 2016

Like many people around the world, I was expecting to wake up on Wednesday 9th November on the news of Hillary is the president-elect of the United States. That expectation came from the experience that Clinton has. She spent eight years in the White House as First Lady, and subsequently managed to hold senior office roles such as the Secretary of the State, which made her seem to be the most qualified person for the job. But as everyone found out later, the experience by itself did work for Clinton. Even though she won the popular vote; that did not help her much in passing the magic number of 270 votes in the Electoral College.  The result reminds us of the US Presidential election result in 2000 when Al Gore received more than 543,000 votes than George W. Bush, but still, Bush managed to win the contest and become the President. This time, the Democrats candidate has received more than 2 million more votes than the Republican nominee.

One of the reasons how Donald J. Trump managed to win the race to the White House is through gaining narrow wins from the Democrats in key states. He was able to win some of the crucial marginal Democratic states such Ohio and Florida, who's people have mostly voted for the Democrats since 2008. In fact, Pennsylvania has been a strongly held state for the Democrats since 2004, but after 12 years, Trump has managed to gain this important state for his party. These kind of gains have significantly boosted Trump’s Electoral College total and therefore gave him a good lead towards becoming the President – Elect.

On what will happen next, the road does not seem to be clear ahead and it is not easy to predict what Trump will do over the next months and years, especially after he made U-Turns on some of his major policies such as getting rid of Obamacare (which still can end up being replaced), banning Muslim immigration, Clinton’s prosecution and his recent thoughts on building a fence instead of a wall between the US and Mexico. All of which have created a lot of uncertainty ahead and doubts over what he will and he will not do. However, on whether Trump’s victory will affect the relationship between the US and the UK, personally, I do not think so. Although Trump has broken the diplomatic protocol by endorsing Nigel Farage – who became the first British politician to meet Donald Trump – and suggesting that he would do a great job as the US Ambassador to the UK, the Prime Minister has confirmed that she would stay in close touch with Trump, in order to build close relationship with the US.

Abdulaziz (Year 13)

Abdulaziz with the US Ambassador to the UK Matthew Barzun

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