After a bitter election process, Donald Trump has been elected the 45th President of the United States. It was a shock to many, but it wasn’t a shock to Donald Trump, who has been boasting about achieving this since the day he announced his candidacy 17 months ago.
“Working together, we will begin the urgent task of rebuilding our nation and renewing the American Dream,” Trump said in a speech shortly after clinching the election.
Trump took the lead against Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton, and every time she regained the lead, Trump batted her back down. But for the first time during the election, he spoke highly of his opponent.
“I congratulated her on her hard fought campaign – she fought very hard,” Trump said late Tuesday night. “Hillary has worked very long and very hard over a long period of time, and we owe her a major debt of gratitude for her service to our country. I mean that very sincerely.”
The deciding state came down to Wisconsin, according to the Associated Press. After the announcement – and after Clinton called Trump to concede – he talked about “making America great again.”
“America will no longer settle for anything less than the best. We must reclaim our country’s destiny, and dream big and bold and daring – we have to do that. We’re going to dream of things for our country,” Trump said.
Many disgruntled people took to the streets in anger after his election.
Protests immediately broke out all across California. What started as coverage by local student newspapers, grew and were picked up by larger news outlets as thousands marched in different cities.
It began at UCLA where a thousand people descended on the campus as the college newspaper – The Daily Bruin – scrambled to cover it after an exhausting Election Day. The protest expanded beyond the campus and went into the community.
After those reports came in, more protests sprang up at UC Berkeley, UC Santa Barbara, San Francisco State University, San Diego State, San Jose State, UC Santa Cruz, USC and CSU East Bay.
The messages were simple: “F–- Donald Trump,” “Not our president” and “F–- the media.”
Meanwhile, Fresno State’s campus lie dormant.
Other protests took place at the University of Oregon, as well as in Portland, Oregon and Washington, D.C.
Clearly, the election result stunned many.
“Like all of the rest of the political elite, I fully expected Clinton to win,” said Dr. Thomas Holyoke, Fresno State professor of political science. “She was far more organized than he was, yet he swept many blue states and held all of the red states. Incredible.”
The Democratic Party’s diversity approach did not appeal to many white voters, Holyoke said.
“The Democratic Party felt that its diversity outreach was going to bring victory. It did not,” Holyoke said. “Republicans won with what appears to be lower to middle class white voters, which Democrats used to represent. They will need to re-attract them, but at the same time remain the party of ethnic diversity, which will ultimately reshape the electoral map – just not this year.”
In an event at Hillary Clinton’s headquarters in Fresno, the mood went from excited to tense – then somber.
The weight of the election was felt throughout Fresno, and for many, it was about people.
“What’s at stake for the United States for the people, for African-Americans, for Latinos, for Muslims, for people that don’t have health care – there’s a lot at stake, and it’s beyond me how Trump is even where he’s at – what he’s said about these people,” said Bryan Clark, a volunteer at the Hillary Clinton campaign event in Fresno.
Clark said students should pay attention to what happens in this election.
“It is, in all likelihood, going to shape the Supreme Court for the next 20 to 30 years, and that’s going to directly influence the young adults today and their children.”
Before the result was official, people at the event expressed fear of a Trump presidency.
“It’s very alarming. Like the young gentleman just told me, not only did we lose a good opportunity for a great president, if in fact, she does not win, but more importantly we’ve – as a nation – elected somebody that’s deep into bigotry, who doesn’t like women, who doesn’t like people of color, who doesn’t like people that are in his eyes not [perfect],” Dr. Margarita K. Reyes said before the election was called for Trump.
Reyes continued: “And that’s a very scary thought that will be perceived to the rest of the world. It will be perceived to the rest of the world that we’re not welcoming to other people, and we’re not good people and that’s a very scary thought.”
At another party in Fresno, an excited group of Trump supporters gathered to support their candidate as he swept the election.
“He wouldn’t accept the establishment of the status quo that is heading the country in the wrong direction,” said Paul Deffebach, communications chair of the Fresno County Republicans Party. “He is approaching the issue of immigration, which is causing wages in America to go down. Also the trade policy that are exporting jobs out of the United States – he addresses those issues that the establishment and the Republicans and Democrats in Washington, D.C. have been avoiding for decades.”
As the back section of High Sierra Grill filled with Trump supporters, some would drink wine and beer while others would sit back and watch Fox News. Trump supporters cheered, “Trump, Trump, Trump” as they continuously heard the anchors announce Trump’s lead in the presidential race. Most people present were wearing red – one women wore a bedazzled hat and a matching shirt promoting Trump. Others would wave posters that say “Make America Great Again” and had American flags.
“I think that the Democratic Party [underestimated] what was actually the will of the people, and it just seems like the groundswells – the votes that weren’t counted – those people who were not registered to vote and swing votes – Democrats switching to Republican ticket – I don’t think they counted that as effectively,” said Tom Sabatino who attended the event. “So many people, Democrats and Republicans, are sick and tired of the way things have been going and so it’s time for a change. Does Donald have flaws? Yes – Donald has flaws. I’m not going to do some pie in the sky thing, but considering our alternative [Clinton], devil in the deep blue sea.”
Holyoke said it’s unclear what America should expect next.
“We have no idea what a Trump Administration will look like. Trump himself never said. Now we will find out,” Holyoke said. “Can he build unity within his party? Can he build bridges to the Democrats to govern? Can he work with other world leaders? Will he try to lock up Hillary Clinton? We shall see.”
Regardless of the result, President-elect Trump has a lot of work to do to fix the divided nation – a division that many say Trump himself was pivotal in creating.
“Now it’s time for America to bind the wounds of division … to all Republicans, and Democrats, and independents across this nation, I say it is time for us to come together as one united people,” Trump said. “I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans … I’m reaching out to you for your guidance and your help, so we can work together and unify our great country.”
Staff writers Chueyee Yang and Jenna Wilson contributed to this story.