UPDATE : 2023.9.17 Sun 23:40
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Reaction to President-elect Trump and what it means for Korea

Leading up to the election in the US on November 8 it was pretty much assumed by most that the sure winner would be Hillary Clinton. The overall feeling throughout the nation was that a person with ideals such as Donald Trump does couldn’t possibly win enough support to become the highest leader of the most advanced and powerful nation in the world in this century. To everyone’s shock and surprise, the polls predicted wrongly, and he did indeed garner enough of a following, regardless of his brash and often crude commentary about all kinds of topics, issues and people. Now he will be the president.

As an American, one thing I want to comment on as an observer of this unbelievable turn of events, is the ironic reaction many anti-Trump American voters have conveyed. Leading up to the result of the election, I witnessed many people sharing openly about their support in voting for Mrs. Clinton, while the Trump supporters seemed quiet. I chalked this up to the fact that no one truly expected him to win and they were a little embarrassed to be found voting for such a man as Mr. Trump. After the official announcement of his win there was little rejoicing on my Facebook newsfeed, but there was immediate backlash from the people who voted for Hillary. Many people posted their remorse for having lost when they were so confident they couldn’t lose and they especially began to immediately condemn the voters of Trump who made it happen. How could they vote for such a racist, sexist, bigot? They must be those things too. Protests erupted throughout the country and the negativity on Facebook lasted days (and still until now). I could understand their surprise and disappointment, but their reaction to the fair, democratic process of our nation was surprising to me. What did they think would happen? Why didn’t they speak more actively before the election while their voices could still make a difference to the voters?

Lastly, I want to mention about Trump’s plans with South Korea. He mentioned once to a crowd that he wants to withdraw troops from the Korean peninsula or charge more compensation for them. I highly doubt either of those things will happen. He has already backtracked on many key issues he was campaigning on (abolishing Obamacare, gay marriage, abortion, and other issues) and toned down his rhetoric a lot. I’m not defending him, but I’m remaining optimistic. When he mentioned about military in Korea he didn’t have any knowledge or expertise in the matter. Once he chooses his cabinet (which so far are politicians you would expect, rather than the outsiders-type he claimed), and meets with the generals who know about the situation in Korea, he will wisely take their advice and leave things the way they are. I expect very little to change with President-elect Trump and just hope that whatever changes there will be, will be great.

Luke Hanson  lukejhanson@gmail.com

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