People across the world woke up to a shock election result this morning – Donald Trump is President of the United States. Property tycoon and reality television star, he defied pundit expectations despite his controversial past and “aggressive rhetoric”, as described by UKIP supporter, Suzanne Evans. Trump’s win shocked leaders across the globe, causing the financial markets to temporarily plummet.
However, Suzanne remains optimistic – “hopefully, Trump will rise to the challenge”.
Suzanne is a leading UKIP figure and, with uncertainty related to Brexit and now Donald Trump’s victory, she brings a unique perspective to the table. A skilled keynote speaker, she believes that change is a vehicle for opportunity. We looked to Suzanne Evans, UKIP Parliamentary Spokesperson and prominent party leadership candidate, for her response to Trump’s victory.
Q: Did you expect the election’s result?
“This result should only be shocking to those living in a liberal, leftie bubble. It was very obvious to me that Trump seized the agenda from the outset. He was getting all the media coverage. He was setting the tone and the subject matter for the debates throughout the entire campaign. Hillary was always playing catch-up.”
“The fairly extensive policies Hillary Clinton put forward barely got a mention. Trump successfully put the focus on her secret emails, her poor record in office and on her husband’s affairs. When Trump came under fire, accused of racism and misogyny, in a bizarre way this still worked to his advantage. It kept his profile high and Clinton’s policy proposals were lost behind all the noise.”
Q: The election was incredibly decisive, especially in the media; do you think this impacted the result?
“The media, the establishment and the liberal left all pointed at Trump and said, ‘isn’t he absolutely hideous?’. They suggested anyone who planned to vote for him must be an ‘uneducated bigot’. You would have thought politicians, and the media, would have learnt from Brexit that such tactics really do not work.”
"This biased media narrative and the fact senior Republicans, as well as Democrats, dissed the concerns of ordinary, hard-working people - no doubt fuelled their determination to vote for dramatic change.”
Q: How important is it for people to exercise their democratic right?
“Once again, the polls were utterly wrong, just like we saw in Britain at the last general election and with the EU referendum. What is the point of them anymore? We are at a stage where people just cannot trust them.”
"But it was closer than the electoral college vote figures suggest. There is almost no difference between the total number of votes cast for Trump and Clinton respectively and some states were incredibly tight. Watching Florida swing to and fro last night was gripping, for example.”
"These things can turn on the smallest of margins and it just goes to show that your vote does matter. It’s important that you get out and vote and to make your voice heard.”
Q: What did you think of Trump’s acceptance speech?
“We saw a different side to Trump in his acceptance speech, which was a departure from the aggressive rhetoric of his campaign. In a sense, then, I am quite heartened by his call for unity, his promise to be a ‘President for all Americans’ and his pledge that government should serve the people.”
"I hope that’s the way it pans out. He was almost humble in contrast to the arrogant, strutting cock-style figure we saw on the stump.”
"It’s very easy to shoot from the hip when you’re roundly perceived to be the underdog and need to make an impact. Once you are in office, it is a different ball game altogether. When outspoken men like Trump assume the mantle of power, you often find they mellow and become more statesmanlike.”
Q: How do you think Trump will handle the responsibilities of being president?
"Hopefully, Trump will rise to the challenge, become a more responsible figure than the one we have seen to date and ditch his more extreme rhetoric - such as describing NATO as ‘obsolete,’ when it is fundamental to our global security. His speech this morning bodes well for the future on that front.”
Q: Which candidate did you favour; Trump or Clinton?
“I didn’t favour one candidate over the other. I genuinely thought both were among the weakest candidates the US has ever had, or at least that I can remember. I thank God I am not American and did not have to choose.”
"That said, the Democrats should have walked this. Hillary was the wrong candidate. Mired in corruption allegations, she has long been seen as a threat to national security after backing two wars that have left the world in a much less stable state.”
"Had the Democrats got behind another, more plausible candidate, it could have been a very different outcome. Trump was highly beatable but clearly Hillary was not able to overcome him. I think, in a sense, she lost it as much as you can say he won it.”
Q: What does Donald Trump’s election mean for the UK?
“The good news? I guess we know at least that Britain will no longer be at the back of the queue when it comes to negotiating a trade deal with the US!”
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