The American people have spoken and Donald Trump is the new President Elect. In a triumphant run that some are comparing to voodoo, the Republican Party took both the House of Representatives and the Senate by majority vote, when all the chips were stacked against them, due to a significant amount of negative press that stemmed from allegations of bigotry, shady business ventures, and racism. His famously coined phrase “grab her by the pussy” rippled through the media airwaves and drew much attention to the man who will become 45th President of the United States in short order.
After an arduous race, the dust settled with Trump at 279 and Clinton at 228. The Republican Party won the House of Representatives with 239 votes versus 192 for the Democrats. They also secured the Senate with 51 votes versus the Democrats’ 48.
Social media was awash yesterday with comments indicating total disbelief in the election results and negative comments denoting that US voters had made a terrible mistake in voting for Trump and labelling them as racists and hateful. The electing of Donald Trump to the office of President of the United States is now being compared to the UK Brexit move which has almost crippled the British Pound and created challenges for other markets such as ours in the Caribbean when one considers the fact that many vacationers from the UK visit our shores annually because of the strength of the Pound against the EC Dollar. As we already know tourism is the main revenue generator for our twin-island state. The US Stock Market was expected to go through a significant drop in stocks, however it seems that the scare was all for nothing and the market has since stabilized following Mr. Trump’s ascension to the position of President Elect. Interesting enough though, despite all the negative comments, some people are seeing his victory as seriously motivational citing that if someone who has no experience with politics and has never served in the military or any other jobs that would have prepared them adequately for the role of President, then anyone can accomplish anything.
Hilary Clinton who gave her opponent a significant fight, congratulated the new leader of the free world and commented that Trump must have a chance to lead.
This big question though, is “how will this affect Antigua and Barbuda?”
Well, the Caribbean Diaspora have also weighed in on the President Elect and there has been speculation that the election was rigged or that this signals the end of the world and biblical prophecy is being fulfilled. The is an inherent fear that non-nationals will be deported now that Trump is President because of his harsh stance on immigration. The truth is though, very little will change overnight. In order for immigration reform to take place, the President cannot be the sole decision maker. The US system of Government puts many check and balances in place so that this can’t happen. The Senate and House of Representatives must give their buy in on any changes to the laws of the country.
Issues that have been affecting us such as the de-risking of the indigenous banks in the OECS and the refusal of the US to acknowledge the WTO ruling that would see the US paying Antigua US$2.1 million per year, will continue to go through the current channels for resolution.
If the US economy should fall it will then have adverse effects on the Caribbean economy, but it is still too early to make such an assertion.
Congratulations to Mr. Donald Trump for his victory in the 2016 Presidential Race.