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Election leaves us waiting to exhale

After one of the most stunning political developments in America’s history, the world is awaiting the outcome of GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump’s powerful victory over Hillary Clinton as he prepares to become the next president of the United States.

It was a long night on Tuesday, as the voting results began to trickle into various news outlets, with a slowly building trend that had many experts scrambling for words to describe what was turning out to be a political shocker, as Trump’s momentum in the polls seemed unstoppable.

It was in direct contrast to assessments from so many pundits that Trump would not be taken seriously by the American electorate.

The election campaigns between Trump and Clinton became so inflamed with accusations and counter-accusations that America’s political climate caught the attention of nations around the world, with growing concerns about what was happening to the most powerful nation on Earth. It would not be putting it too strongly to say that many around the world, and here in little Bermuda, were holding their breath as the political temperature over selecting a new president to replace the outgoing Barack Obama showed no signs of lowering.

In the beginning, Trump was viewed as a billionaire loose cannon and somewhat of a political joke. However, no one was laughing when he managed to overcome just about every obstacle and secure that seat in the Oval Office.

The Clinton campaign had given all it had to capture voters’ attention with even President Obama and Michelle Obama chipping in with dynamic speeches, hoping to push Clinton towards the finish line. Somehow, it simply was not enough to halt a steady climb in Trump support, despite negative publicity earlier that some felt would derail his campaign.

There was plenty of joy in the Trump camp over his victory, and tears among Clinton supporters, who for a while must have thought they were having a bad dream. However there was no rewinding the tape, as reality took its toll and it became clear that for the nation to hold steady, everyone needed to exhale and prepare for the next chapter.

President Obama, who while campaigning for Clinton never minced his words in describing Trump as uniquely unqualified for the top job, emphasised that he had reached out to Trump to congratulate him, and vowed to ensure that everything would be done for a smooth transition of power. Flanked by the Vice-President, Joe Biden, the President wanted to send a message to America and the world that the nation was strong despite political differences.

With America clearly emotionally divided over the election outcome, it was time now to exhale and move on. That is always easier said than done.

Most Americans know it is one thing to become president, but it is a different matter in being president. No doubt, the new administration will be watched very closely as it sets about various objectives. With Republicans in control of Congress and the Senate, there are going to be challenging times ahead for the Democrats.

America is facing serious problems, and the world is also facing dangerous situations, with endless conflicts that result daily in the loss of countless innocent lives.

America’s new president will need all the support he can muster in meeting those challenges. We wish him the best.