Shock, de­spair, si­lence at Clin­ton’s camp

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

A stony si­lence cast a pall yes­ter­day over what was meant to be Hil­lary Clin­ton’s pres­i­den­tial vic­tory party as, one by one, states turned Repub­li­can red for Don­ald Trump. The bil­lion­aire prop­erty mogul had not yet won the White House but for many, it was only a ques­tion of time. No one was ex­pect­ing such a vi­o­lent slap in the face. Some were say­ing it would be close, and many Democrats said they were ner­vous as they ar­rived at Clin­ton’s event at the Jav­its Cen­ter on the west side of Mid­town Man­hat­tan.

But no one imag­ined the night would turn into a po­lit­i­cal fu­neral. At the food court, lo­cated un­der­neath the hall where Clin­ton had been ex­pected to write her name in the his­tory books, two young women sobbed, and the al­co­hol was freeflow­ing. At a ta­ble, two other women stared blankly, their hands on their heads. “It is sur­real,” said one govern­ment em­ployee who gave her first name Mar­garita, a beer in front of her. She says she fears a new era in Amer­ica-not just in terms of pol­i­tics, but also from those who voted for the 70-year-old Trump. “Our lives are not safe-as queer women, as brown women,” she said, strug­gling to put her feel­ings into words.

Many spoke about what they felt was to­tal ig­no­rance among Trump sup­port­ers. “I think these peo­ple prob­a­bly flunked out of school-they don’t know his­tory, they don’t un­der­stand the world,” said Elmy Ber­mejo, who trav­eled to the Big Ap­ple from San Fran­cisco for the oc­ca­sion. But Ber­mejo tried to see the bright side on a dark night. “Af­ter I have a stiff drink of tequila, I’m go­ing to get up, and since I’m a hope­ful per­son, then I’ll do what­ever I can to make sure we vote him out of of­fice, be­cause that’s what democ­racy is about,” she said.

‘We knew it would be close’

Shock was the dom­i­nant re­ac­tion, rather than anger at what looked like a stun­ning loss. New York is a Demo­cratic bas­tion, one that voted for Clin­ton-and seems far from Trump’s Amer­ica that dis­dains Wash­ing­ton in­sid­ers. “We def­i­nitely knew it was close-not this close,” said 22-year-old Evynn Sten­gel, who started drink­ing be­fore the dis­heart­en­ing re­sults started trick­ling in. “We feel like we live in a bub­ble-vot­ing for Trump to me is so shock­ing.” Next to Sten­gel, 25-year-old Yanni Trit­tas, a lo­cal elected of­fi­cial, said: “They’re peo­ple who hold on to racism and xeno­pho­bia,” an in­tol­er­ance that stems from what he said the Repub­li­can Party had “en­sured by un­der­in­vest­ing in ed­u­ca­tion.”

‘We need a mir­a­cle’

Faces once bright with the hope of see­ing Amer­ica’s first fe­male pres­i­dent elected started grow­ing longer and longer at about 9:00 pm, when the re­sults ap­peared to be lean­ing Trump’s way. “Not great,” said Joan Divenuti, a re­tired rail worker who came from Mas­sachusetts. “Florida was al­ways a prob­lem,” she said, shak­ing her head. It was not long be­fore the US tele­vi­sion net­works called the Sun­shine State for Trump. Then the Clin­ton sup­port­ers-ini­tially quite talk­a­tive about the prospects for a Clin­ton pres­i­dency and many of them dressed in Clin­ton garb-clammed up as the hun­dreds of jour­nal­ists on the scene be­gan doc­u­ment­ing the pal­pa­ble anx­i­ety.

Heads were shak­ing in front of the gi­ant screens beam­ing the re­sults to the crowd, and the voices of re­porters echoed in the huge hall, which was other­wise silent. Sup­port­ers man­i­cally re­freshed their smart­phones in search of bet­ter news. But The New York Times only had bad news for them, with their fore­cast for Trump’s chances of win­ning ris­ing as the night wore on. In a des­per­ate bid to mo­ti­vate the crowd, New York Gover­nor An­drew Cuomo said: “We be­lieve that Hil­lary Clin­ton is go­ing to be the next pres­i­dent of the United States.”

At 10:44 pm, the Times gave Trump a 93 per­cent chance of win­ning. Team Clin­ton van­ished, avoid­ing re­porters like the plague. She, her hus­band Bill and her en­tourage were holed up at a ho­tel not far from the venue. Af­ter mid­night, when The Times put Trump’s chance of win­ning at 95 per­cent, some started to leave the party-turned-fu­neral. A few brave cam­paign vol­un­teers kept re­porters from go­ing into a large hall where sev­eral thou­sand de­jected sup­port­ers were gath­ered. “I am pray­ing-and I am not re­li­gious,” said An­abel Evora, a 51-year-old from Ten­nessee who works at a non-profit or­ga­ni­za­tion. “We need a mir­a­cle. I am sad. I’m about to cry.” —AFP

This com­bi­na­tion of pic­tures cre­ated shows sup­port­ers of Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Hil­lary Clin­ton re­act­ing in var­i­ous cities across the United States. Don­ald Trump has stunned Amer­ica and the world, rid­ing a wave of pop­ulist re­sent­ment to de­feat Hil­lary Clin­ton in the race to be­come the 45th pres­i­dent of the United States. —AFP

NEW DELHI: Right-wing ac­tivists of In­dia’s Hindu Sena cel­e­brate the vic­to­ri­ous out­come for US Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Don­ald Trump in the US pres­i­den­tial elec­tions in New Delhi yes­ter­day. —AFP

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