The United States of America shocked the world by electing Donald Trump in 2016. Trump severed a crushing defeat to the Democratic establishment by winning Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Florida. His victory upended traditional political thinking in the US, and was a huge blow to all established Washington politicians.
The only glimmers of hope for his opponent, Hillary Clinton, and her followers, was that she won the popular vote, and, in an electoral college map considering only millennial votes, Trump got just 23 votes to Clinton's 504. Trump won the election despite weeks of polls predicting a Clinton victory and numerous scandals, such as more than a dozen women accusing him of sexual assault.
Trump's victory has been attributed to everything from ignorance to poverty to "white-lash" (white backlash against growing minority populations and eight years of an African American president, with an element of implied misogyny). Conservative news outlets and Trump supporters attributed the president's success to connecting with voters disenfranchised by establishment politics and the desire to see someone in the White House who isn't afraid to shake things up and "tell it like it is".
The mood amongst Trump supporters in the wake of the election was ebullient. Alt-Right blog Breibart ran the headline "Res-Election: The American People Rise Again" (reminiscent of the "the south will rise again"), and was selling President Trump merchandise hours after his victory. On Twitter, Trump supporters tweeted messages like "Trump has better coverage than Verizon. Can you hear us now?" and "The world feels a little brighter this morning. President-elect Donald Trump, folks. WE DID IT!"
Trump's win, and Clinton's loss, came on the heels of yet another FBI investigation into the latter's emails, and three days after a woman who accused Trump of raping her when she was 13 dropped a lawsuit against the president, citing numerous threats on her life. The shock felt by many not in Trump's camp is perhaps best summed up by New Yorker editor David Remnik:
The election of Donald Trump to the Presidency is nothing less than a tragedy for the American republic, a tragedy for the Constitution, and a triumph for the forces, at home and abroad, of nativism, authoritarianism, misogyny, and racism. Trump’s shocking victory, his ascension to the Presidency, is a sickening event in the history of the United States and liberal democracy.