By now I’m sure everyone will have heard: Donald Trump will be inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States of America on January 20, 2017. I don’t want to make any comments about the domestic or foreign policy consequences that this will have – enough pundits will be working on that – but rather give a brief insight into the election night and the atmosphere in NYC.
I’ve never seen New York so quiet – the city seems to be in a state of shock-induced paralysis. On the subway, on the streets: never have I had to look into so many stunned, appalled, and especially sad faces. For me, election night started at the Javots Center where Hillary was actually supposed to celebrate her “victory” party. After standing in line for quite some time and going through several security check points we entered the convention grounds – only invited guests were allowed to attend.
In the beginning we were all still very confident, until the first really important results started to come in from Florida, Ohio, and North Carolina. The crowd was as quiet as a mouse when it was announced that Trump would most likely win all of these states. From this moment on the whole city was covered by a very tense mood. Suddenly, no more car horns or sirens could be heard; most people nervously looked at their phones.
Like many others I left the event earlier than initially planned and drove to Brooklyn, where a few other interns and I had tickets for a show commenting on the elections. The people here remained optimistic for a relatively long amount of time and preferred to drink a beer and cheer to the election polls. On my way home I made a quick stop at the Rockefeller Center, where the TV channel NBC was reporting on the election.
At this point there was almost no more hope for Hillary, and some people were sitting on the ground and even crying – an almost haunting atmosphere. At around 1AM, when it started to become evident that Trump would also win Pennsylvania, there was no more doubt about his victory.
This morning, after about four hours of sleep, I was woken by an outcry in the house. It was my landlady that had gone to bed fairly confident early last night. As an immigrant with a disabled child, the results are especially shocking for her – but this is now the grim reality for many people in the melting pot that is New York. In Manhattan, over 87% of the electorate voted for Hillary. At the office we had the next crisis meeting: even though people had, in fact, admitted that Trump had had a chance of winning, no one actually expected it to happen!
Just now we watched Hillary’s concession speech together – actually a pretty powerful and moving speech, which unfortunately we didn’t see so much of on the campaign trail…
Translated by Philip