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After a long and divisive campaign, US voters chose Donald Trump as their president. The debate has been roiling in the FT’s comment section for months. Now the verdict is in, and we are interested in your reactions.
What was your initial feeling after you learnt of the outcome? Is this the start of an exciting new era — or the beginning of a frightening four years? What questions are you left with? Share your thoughts here. This story will serve as a hub for your reactions on this historic day. We will be updating it regularly with the top comments and excerpts from around FT.com.
To read our collection of comments from election day, click here.
On how Trump won
“So many similarities with Brexit. What was predicted to be a marginal win the other way turned out be a win for the protest vote. Millions don’t even know what they voted for, but they did it anyway. That’s how strong the disenfranchised feel. If that’s not a serious wake-up call I don’t know what is.” — Alan
“There are a lot of ‘Damn the FT, we counted the votes and you lost’ comments, but I think this is missing the point. If Trump had genuinely won on policy then it would be a different matter, but there is a very large group who will never be able to look past the misogyny, the racism, the blatant lies, etc. The fact that he won based on not much other than demagoguery says terrible things about our democracy - it’s an almost pure protest against the established order. Now, what this clearly says is the established order have got it wrong, in a big way, and to my mind that’s the crisis. If you end up in a situation where half the population are willing to burn down the house because things can’t be worse, then if that’s not a crisis of democracy I don’t see what is. The conclusion doesn’t denigrate anyone’s votes, but acknowledges that 51.9% of the UK and about 50% of the US do not feel they’ve had a fair crack at the whip. And as democratic crises go, I’d say that’s a whopper.” — DTM
“Democracy seems to be doing fine when the economy is doing fine. When the economy turns sour, the people also do. Brexit and Trump are the results of that. 2016 will be a historic year. Just as capitalism can be its own worst enemy, it seems democracy can also be its own worst enemy.” — Mr. Peeters
“I am at a loss as to how the election of a wealthy, white, Ivy-league educated property magnate to the office of US President represents a blow to established elites.” — Blep
“My first reaction is that Trump spoke truths that the people wanted to hear and that were at odds with the establishment’s political correctness. Since the mainstream media supports the status quo, they missed the depth of the issues that motivated Trump voters. He was elected in reaction to a series of failures perceived by the majority (deindustrialization, erosion of family, serial unwinnable foreign military initiatives, gross influence peddling among the well-connected in Washington). Now we find out if his skills and abilities are up to the task of reform.” — Steagall
On what’s ahead
“Oddly, Trump is a much less divisive figure in Washington than Clinton as both Republicans and Democrats distrust and dislike him. That will make for some interesting Washington dynamics, which possibly will get DC working again. Not betting my savings on that happening, but a Clinton win would have been four more years of solid stalemate.” — Not_an_englishman
“I am naively hoping that Trump supporters will remember all the things he said he would do when he got into power, and hold him to account for every single one he does not achieve. He has a Republican Senate and House, so there should be no excuse for him not getting everything done that he said he would.” — Rada gast
“This will make the court case on 28 November even more interesting. The first president to have never held public office or served in the military could also be the first to be found guilty of fraud between the poll and swearing in.” — manticore
“For those betting that companies will benefit from quick and deep tax cuts, repatriation, repeal of Obamacare, etc, keep in mind that if middle class conditions don’t improve in the heartland this term, we may be looking at an even greater upset in four years. That means Sanders. You can only sucker the Americans for so long.” — ‘postmodern-fox
“I have a good feeling about this.”
“Let’s be humble in victory. The country is more divided than ever and the president elect is highly unpopular. There is a lot of work to do to actually make America great again. But I have a good feeling about this. Change is necessary. The people have chosen to replace the ruling class with an unproven, unpredictable and unconventional leader. It is nothing short of a revolution.” — Don’t Panic
“I wouldn’t have voted for him, but you have to hand it to Trump…This is a major movement that is starting to gather pace. Personally, I think Trump is a false prophet who won’t deliver anything for the people who are angry. But the anger is REAL, folks, and if your strategy for responding is to keep telling people they are ‘stupid’ and ‘idiots’ this is going to end very badly for you.” —TheSadTruth
“He is who he is. And that is pretty scary.”
“‘The best thing about Trump is that he is not a professional politician,’ one of his advisers said wearily shortly before the vote. ‘But the worst thing is that he is not a professional politician. Either way, you cannot change him.’
The last bit is pretty telling. A lot of Trump supporters I’ve heard on the radio go along the lines of ‘yes he’s trouble, but he’ll have good advisors around him.’ Or maybe that he’ll step up to the task in hand. The list goes on.
He is who he is. He won’t suddenly change once he becomes president. And that is pretty scary.” — Oops
“First thought: there is no perfect political system nor man. The triumphalistic attitudes of democratic regimes should end, for they are not above voting for a despot or overlooking lies, after hundreds of millions of dollars spent. Second thought: I don’t think Trump will dramatically change the economic trajectory of the US, but what is of more interest to me will be how a very thin-skinned egotist in control of the most fearsome military in the world manages a crisis.” — Fong
“That majority of US voters chose bigotry, bullying, sexism and cruelty to people with disabilities as ‘winning’ values is simply unbelievable. It exposes so much weakness of a system that can enable such values to rise as its chief representative to the world. A ‘movement’ is all about sentiments, with little by way of substance. Within the first year, the results of a Trump presidency will reveal itself. Pray that economic damage will be limited and loss of lives/livelihoods will be limited as well. Belt up.” — Larry