ROCKLAND COUNTY TIMES STAFF EDITORIAL
New York businessman and reality TV star Donald Trump has shocked the world and maybe even himself, winning the 2016 presidential election Tuesday night.
After a long, contentious race, Trump changed his tone in victory from rhetorical bomb thrower to peacemaker, telling the country that he intends to be the president of “all Americans,” including those who do not support him. He also reached out to countries around the world, stating America still wants friends and trade partners, so long as the deals are fair to the American people.
His speech seemed to have sooth global markets, which initially reacted to Trump’s victory chaotically. The Dow Jones futures plunged 800, but the Dow actually went up triple digits Wednesday.
Early election returns Tuesday night did not look so good for Trump, but tides would soon turn. Shortly after 9 p.m. EST Trump raced past Democrat Hillary Clinton in Florida, Ohio and eventually Pennsylvania, Michigan and North Carolina. Trump also won Wisconsin, a state lost to the GOP since the Reagan/Bush version of America. He won Ohio by nearly 10 percentage points. Trump turned the rust belt red.
President-elect Trump ended the night locked in a dead heat with Clinton in the popular vote, while securing up to 310 or so electoral votes (absentee ballots are still being counted in Michigan, New Hampshire and Arizona). To win the election a candidate needs only 270 electoral votes, which Trump already secured.
How to account for Trump’s meteoric rise? The man’s personality and skillset seems to have matched the times. Negative feelings amongst the public over the pay-to-play DC culture, political correctness, immigration policy, economic stagnation and politicians who work for global special interests rather than national interests all were looking for a voice and Trump was willing to provide it.
The Rockland County Times picked up on Trump’s potential as a candidate early in the race and we were among the first newspapers in the country to endorse him. While many in the nation’s press corps were working overtime figuring out how to destroy Trump, it was evident to this editorial board Trump’s skills and platform points were needed at this time.
Despite his personal flaws, his candidacy ultimately came to represent an opportunity to change the culture in Washington D.C. and get government working in the national interest again.
No ordinary man could accomplish what Trump has. It is time for his critics to offer him some good faith. We remain bullish on Trump. He has the potential to be a great president.