What We’re Following
Trump Pulls It Off: It seemed impossible for a long time, but it’s really happened: Donald J. Trump—despite his lack of political experience, despite his lies and impulsive temperament, despite the serious allegations against him—is the president-elect of the United States. His key wins came in Florida, where Cuban Americans appeared to push him over the edge in a tight race, and in North Carolina, where the NAACP has filed multiple lawsuits in recent years over voting rights. He defied expectations in the Rust Belt, with projections of his victory in the once-reliably-blue states of Michigan and Wisconsin finally forcing Hillary Clinton to concede just after 2:30 a.m. ET. For Clinton, it was painfully close: She took Virginia in a nail-biting race, came out strong in the West and New England, and initially sent her supporters home at 2 a.m., with campaign chair John Podesta declaring that every vote must be counted. But within an hour, the race was called: With 268 electoral votes and more coming, Trump was the winner.
What This Means: At this point, who can be sure? Last month, The Atlantic warned that Trump’s short fuse, authoritarian streak, and stoking of racist sentiment would be dangerous for the nation. He is brash, inexperienced, and unpredictable—his most dangerous trait, as he takes command in a world where, for example, North Korea poses an increasingly serious nuclear threat. His election likely means rough times for U.S. alliances, not to mention the world economy (U.S. stocks have already taken a nosedive). Yet this is what the voters have chosen, and the nation must honor their choice. Narrow though tonight’s election was, it speaks to the power and severity of their concerns—their perceived lack of political voice; their fears for their economic future; the lines of division so starkly illuminated by this campaign. Americans’ next step must be to work toward healing those divides—while also endeavoring to keep our most important, fragile systems of government from falling apart in Trump’s hands.