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Trump's Victory Surprises Many

Donald Trump's shocking and largely unpredicted election victory has left many stunned. With 290 electoral votes to Clinton's 228, Trump has won the presidency and been named the United States' President-Elect. Counts show Clinton winning the popular vote by 2.9 million, which, if accurate, will be the fifth time in history a candidate has won the popular vote but not the presidency, and the second time for the Democratic candidate since 2000.

Trump was saved by the electoral college system, which he interestingly denounced as a "disaster for democracy" on Twitter following Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential election loss. The electoral college will cast their votes on December 19th, which is the true binding election. A petition on Change.org with over 4 million signatures and counting has called for the electoral college to vote Clinton as president. Although it is possible for an elector to vote against the party selected by the state (becoming a so-called "faithless" elector) it is exceedingly rare and in some states can carry legal consequences.

Many of Trump's critics have expressed fear of his presidency, alleging that his platform was based on racist, sexist, and homophobic ideals. Some worry that the country will no longer be safe for gays and people of color. Thousands have taken to the streets in protest in major cities, including New York, Los Angeles, and Miami; holding signs that say "Not my president." Others still have vowed to work against and stymie any presidential effort Trump makes.

It is no secret that Trump has said racist, bigoted, and hateful things during his campaign. But, most people did not vote for Trump because of those things, but despite them. Trump promised to increase the economic security of Americans and to "make America great again," which appealed to many United States citizens who are unhappy with their current government representation and feel that a political outsider is best to incite change.

The best way for the United States to move forward is to respect the integrity of our democratic system. Those who supported Trump must hold him accountable to his promises that won him their votes in the first place, and those who did not support Trump must accept him as their leader and stay informed so as to elect political leaders who better represent their beliefs and values. In her concession speech, Clinton expressed her hope that Trump "will be a successful president for all Americans." And, as Twitter user ClipperKyle pointed out, "Wanting [Trump] to fail, is like wanting the pilot to crash the plane that we ALL are on." Whether the election results were thrilling or horrifying, we must remember that as a country, united we stand and divided we fall.

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