Despair as US expats react to Trump's victory

The Local
The Local - [email protected] • 9 Nov, 2016 Updated Wed 9 Nov 2016 09:36 CEST
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Donald Trump has beaten Democrat Hillary Clinton to become the 45th US president. It’s one of the most remarkable victories in US electoral history. The Local spoke to Americans living in Austria about their reaction to the news - which is largely shock and disbelief.

The Republican nominee's victory came down to a handful of key swing states, despite months of polling that favoured Clinton.

Anna, who has lived in Vienna for over 15 years, says she is stunned by the result. “I’ve just been talking to a colleague from Minnesota about the idea of taking Austrian citizenship  - which would mean giving up my American citizenship. [Austria doesn’t allow dual citizenship.] She pointed out that Trump could then make it harder for foreigners to get back into the States which would be awful if you had parents or relatives who were sick etc... What we hope is that something happens and he will be out of office in two years or so.”

“It feels like progress is impossible, evil has triumphed and there's no escaping the evil in man around the world,” she added.

Joan, who has been living in Vienna for the past three years, told The Local that her reaction to the news was one of despair: “Many of us were sure we would be dancing a happy dance this morning that Hillary had won and Trump totally demolished. That didn't happen.

I believe his support came from people who were angry and felt that they were not being heard. They wanted change. They weren't really thinking about all the potential damage that this man might cause to our country or the world. My hope and wish now is that somehow he is not as dangerous as many of us have feared.”

'Night time in America'

Faith, who’s lived in Austria for more than 38 years isn't overly surprised by the result, although she isn’t a fan of Trump. "The Affordable Care Act became Unaffordable Care. Iran? That clinched it. Kerry and Clinton dragged the USA over to the dark side and the Americans are reclaiming the light. Americans do not do deals with terrorists. Smooth words and fancy suits, golf vacations and being 'cool', media propaganda outlets, moral morass, surging unemployment, rotting infrastructure, double speak as political correctness. It all got old."

Shelley runs a business in Vienna and stayed up to watch the election coverage. "My sinking feeling increased with news about poor voter turnout by blacks and Hispanics, I left the Democrats Abroad tired and fearing the result. I believe the FBI announcement by Comey set Hillary back. The feeling of despair is mixed with anger that America would consider such a tasteless disgusting man and his trophy wife - both of little brain or substance to a position of so much importance to the world. I fear his stupidity and arrogance on a grand scale."

Dr Gregory Weeks, a historian and academic based in Vienna, told The Local: “Ronald Reagan had a TV commercial in the 1984 presidential campaign titled "It's Morning in America". For many, now that Donald Trump has been elected president, it will seem like night time in America. His ability to nominate US Supreme Court justices could move the country to the right for the next 40 years.”



The Local 2016/11/09 09:36

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