The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

Students react to Donald Trump election triumph

Everyone has something to say on the shock victory, so we gathered the opinions of students around the country

By

The events of the 8th–9th of November 2016 saw America vote for Donald Trump as their new president, shocking the world. Although we’re thousands of miles away from the White House, we turned to students in the UK to hear what they had to say on this divisive and polarising outcome.

Len Cotton, Womens’ Officer at the University of Manchester’s Students’ Union says:
“To anyone who says that feminism in the 21st century is redundant, attention-seeking and outdated I hope this election result has shed some new light on your views. A man who has been accused of over 10 counts of sexual assault, who has referred to women in the most demeaning, derogatory terms has now become the leader of one of (if not the) most powerful countries in the world. For all her sins, (and I know there were many), Hillary Clinton as a president would have symbolised that politics is not an exclusively male domain. It’s been almost one hundred years since women gained the vote and still we have not gained political equality.

“Yes, Hillary was white and middle class and yes, she had some sketchy and questionable views, but were they really as bad as the blatant racism and misogyny that Trump has forged his campaign on? Hillary has over 30 years of political experience making her vastly more qualified for the role. Yet, somehow, Donald was seen as more ‘fit’ to be a leader. Clearly this evidences that the ‘glass ceiling’ is not a myth, it’s an accurate representation of how women the world over are constantly being held back from gaining key positions of power, despite their best efforts.

“‘A vote for Trump is a vote for change’ is the biggest pile of bollocks I have ever heard. Electing a rich, white, right-wing man is not revolutionary — it’s a reversion of and insult to the years of tireless campaigning that women across the world have undertaken in the plight for equality. I’m so angry and disappointed, and… [am in] despair.”

Conversely, Leeds University student, Elrica Degirmen, said that Trump’s election brought a sense of hope to America:
“Trump’s victory signals a victory for those who feel that the current establishment were not addressing the issues they felt most strongly about. People felt they could relate to the message that he was saying of making America great again. Those words resonate a sense of hope for the country that the Clinton failed to emulate. People wanted change and people believed that Trump would be the best person to deliver it. Although the result of the US election was a shock, it wasn’t surprising that someone who could connect with disenfranchised Americans won over an individual who relied on her gender as her winning card. People may disagree with some of the policies he proposed, but many felt they could get behind his vision and leadership for the country.”

Nathan, a University of Manchester alumnus said that Trump’s win “[is] disappointing. I’m hopeful that progressives will be able to reorganise and reach the pissed-off people through the grassroots.”

University of Manchester English Language student, Laura Joyce shared a similar feeling saying: “Obama’s time in office was all about progress, and bringing society up to date. Obama had a modern outlook on acceptance, unity, equal rights and safety. Electing Trump is basically America saying, “We’ve made progress, let’s turn back the clock.” For the majority of Americans they’ll be going back to the middle ages, women will have the same value as objects and attitudes towards racism and homophobia will reverse. His head also looks like road kill.”

Newcastle University student Jordan Taylor Scudder said, “He’s what’s needed to defeat mecha-Hitler.”

Will Kelly, a University of Manchester alumnus says, “I think we are on a road to a revolution, where the entire political system will be upstaged. It’s very worrying what is going to come next.

The big question is how far he will try to put into effect some of the ideas he has mooted – scrapping trade agreements and imposing tariffs, ignoring climate change initiatives, leaving NATO, keeping immigrants out and expelling those in the US illegally. Many of these things will be very difficult to do and would have swift adverse effects on financial markets. Perhaps even more worrying is what this might mean for the Far Right in France and Germany and the impact it will have on Putin. I suspect the leaders of the Baltic states will not be sleeping easily from now on. Change is certainly needed and the liberal world needs to wake up and get itself sorted out. In reality, I guess we get the governments we deserve.”

Rosie Kennedy Ward, a Film Production student at London School of Film, Media and Design shared this: “I think the real issue is not the man himself, he’s a Republican. You only have to do your research to see the insane things representatives of that party have said… He is just a person like anybody else who when they want something they become ruthless. He wanted to be president and so that was his target. The real sadness is how he managed to become president. Through by the most part… simple racism. People who are uneducated and do not have any motivation other than hate. But just like you can’t generalise people of a certain religion, you can’t generalise people who voted for someone. Some voters for Trump will just be disgruntled Americans who took part in a protest and used the only power given to them by the the government. When people say they can’t believe he succeeded because he’s not a politician, the reality of it is that is the exact reason why he succeeded.”

Echoing the sentiment of many women around the globe, Caitlin Hughes, a University of Manchester History student, had this to say: “Do you know how it feels to be a woman, waking up to the news that the most powerful job in the world has been handed to a man, a man who said it’s more than okay to grab girls by the pussy? When you can’t even walk home by yourself after 6pm without a rape alarm or your keys between your fingers? People say they voted for change but a vote for this rich, white, privileged man is not a vote for change. It’s a vote for misogyny, a vote for reclaiming white and male privilege. A vote to turn the clock back on women’s rights, the rights of minorities, our basic human rights. White, male supremacy is happening again, right before our eyes, and it’s absolutely terrifying.”

  • Laura

    “A man who has been accused of over 10 counts of sexual assault” – women officer

    Innocent till proven guilty, darling (yes, and that was an intentional use of ‘darling’, I hope you’re offended).

    Back to the point.

    The author needs to talk to more Manchester students. There’s quite a few shy Trump supporters in Uni of Manchester. There are others who are sympathetic to Trump voters.

    I’m a post-graduate student at Uni of Manchester – I wasn’t approached. There are quite a few students (both undergrad and post grad) who do support Trump, or at least hate Clinton more than Trump. Just from personal experience from friends that also study (post-grads) humanities and social science subjects (History, Economics, English/ Politics/ International Relations etc), I know several who either outright support Trump, or are highly critical of Clinton.

    Stop pandering to the SU exec/ student officers/ SJW activists for their opinions. The SU are a clique – they all think the same, have the same politics, all friends and socialise in the same environment. The Mancunion need to get out and actually talk to Manchester students that are not involved with the SU at all if they want wider student perspectives.

  • Female PG history student

    “Yes, Hillary was white and middle class”

    You say this like it’s a bad thing…

    Anyway, Uni of Manchester History student checking in. Thought id give a totally different perspective to that from “Caitlin Hughes, a University of Manchester History student”.

    I feel immensely happy that Trump won, and not Clinton.

    Clinton had absolutely no problems going to war with Russia. She wished for a no fly zone over Syria, even if that means shooting down Russian Jets. US generals have said this. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWofY0Grwtk

    Secondly, Clinton is financed by countries that behead gays, stone adulterers and have blasphemy laws. Donald Trump has said things that are no worse than the type of conversations most men have in weather spoons, football stadiums and Rugby socials. Hell, even I’ve said worse than “grab her by the pussy”. I’d rather Trump than a woman that is quite happy to take money from blatent homophobes and misogynists.

    Thirdly, Trump isn’t about to send Mexicans off to gas chambers, deny women the right to vote and call for rape squads. Caitlin Hughes, you truly have been brainwashed by the headlines. It’s actually embarrassing that you are one of my peers studying history.

    • Female PG history studen

      Just to clarify – when I say “I’ve said worse”, I mean in regards to men (I’m a woman). I’ve said stuff that is far worse (sexual reference) about men, than Trump has said about “pussy grabbing”.

      All girls have private “girly conversations” about sex that we would never say in public or in front of men. Men do it, lets not pretend women don’t.

  • JB

    “Students react to Donald Trump election triumph”

    This headline should just be renamed: leftist students say predictable things about Trump.

    I’m a student. A post graduate student. A post graduate student that studies politics. I wasn’t approached. Why?

    For the record, I’m happy that Trump won and not Clinton. I don’t even like Trump, but he’s a heck of a lot better than Clinton.

    • PP

      The opportunity was shared, it’s not their fault you didn’t see it. Also, yes, let’s ask the entirety of Manchester’s student population, that should take two minutes surely?

      • JB

        Where was it shared? Where was it publicized? It wasnt on the SU media, or the mancunion media. It wasnt done on the street and it wasnt on the website. Where exactly did they “share this opportunity”?

  • Adam

    Why was Len Cotton asked anything? She’s not even a student, shes a SU officer, and she’s quite clearly not going to give an objective view being a “women’s officer of Manchester SU”. The very title of women’s officer screams out “I’m not impartial about anything”.

    Both Clinton and Trump were incredibly poor candidates, but Clinton comes out worse. For 30 years she has lied, engaged in corruption, took money from countries that have the death penalty for homosexuals, has been inconsistent on almost everything. SHE IS ON THE RECORD SAYING TO A BANKING CONFERENCE THERE SHOULD BE A PUBLIC AND PRIVATE PERSONA -IN OTHER WORDS FUCK THE POOR. She’s a wall street banker shill who fucks the poor at every chance she gets. She has essentially lied in public office for 30 years – gay marriage for example, shes changed her mind on this issue only when it became popular. At least Trump was doing this in a private capacity.

    The left did this. They have created a environment for people like Trump to thrive simply by calling anyone who disagrees with them “racist, misogynists, sexists, homophones, transphobes etc etc etc” and just insulting everyone who opposes them and then crying that they are “offended” and retreat into their safe spaces.

    Jonathan Pie says it best.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLG9g7BcjKs

    • Get your facts right

      Hi Adam,

      Len is a 3rd year student and the women’s officer role she has is not part of the Exec and is voluntary.

      Have a great day!

      • Adam

        I didn’t suggest she was part of the exec? I said she was a woman’s officer, which quite clearly is not an impartial role. It’s just inputting a predictable statement mouth piece for a certain segment of the student left. It’s not exactly an imaginative/ unpredictable comment either – women’s officer/ millennial SJW feminists can find anything that represents “the patriarchy” or victimisation of women. I do hope she knows that millions of women also voted for Trump?

        There’s literally no opposing views in this article, which is sad, but as you can see from the comments, there are a lot of different opinions about Trump that have not at all been represented in this article.