This year controversy and debate spread worldwide as the United States of America Presidential election took place. Candidates Donald Trump – Republican – and former Secretary of State and Democrat Hilary Clinton, battled it out to replace current President Barack Obama who was the first African American president of America.
The election took place on the 8th of November 2016 and was the 58th quadrennial American president election. Donald Trump won the election and alongside Vice-President Mike Pence who will take office from the 20th of January 2017.
The 45th President of the United States of America secured a win after four out of the five battleground states (Florida, Ohio, North Carolina and Pennsylvania) voted in his favour. Trump won the election with 306 votes to Clinton’s 232 – 270 votes are needed in a US election to win. However, it must be noted that Clinton had a higher share of the popular vote with 48.2% of votes to Trump’s 46.1% of votes.
Overall, both candidates are described as ‘two of the most unpopular candidates in modern American history’. Throughout the election process a lot of controversy had risen arguing that neither candidate was suitable for the position. The President of the USA holds global responsibility as the Head of State, Head of Government and Commander-in-Chief of the largest military in the world. Thus, the scrutiny and scandal amidst both Trump and Clinton left not only US citizens but many people globally uncertain and concerned.
Firstly, businessman Donald Trump caused uproar from the outset of his campaign as he described Mexican immigrants as ‘rapists and criminals’. He also refused to release figures of his tax returns after accusations arose that he had not paid federal tax for 18 years. Thirdly, Trump took social media by storm with several outrageous tweets and publicised feuds with a Judge, Miss Universe candidate, Fox News anchor and Muslim family of a fallen soldier. Also on the 7th of October, during the election campaign, a video from 2005 was leaked showing Trump referring to women in a sexually offensive way. It also came to light that Mr Trump had six accusations of sexual assault against him to which he responded that the women were ‘liars’ and would ‘never warrant his attention.’
On the other hand, Hilary Clinton raised suspicions and doubts as she was found to have used a private email server during her time as Secretary of State. The private email server was set up in Clinton’s home and was not monitored by US government. The revelations caused many people to distrust Clinton as the use of a private email server posed a threat to National Security and ‘may have violated federal requirements’ said the New York Times. Clinton claims that the private email server was used merely for ‘convenience’. However, critics believe she created the private email server so she could control what information was/was not disclosed to government. Read more here.
Written by Megan Kearns
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