Trump tones down rhetoric, calls for unity

We will seek common ground with the other nations, not hostility; partnership, not conflict, he says

November 10, 2016 01:48 am | Updated 04:09 am IST - New York

President-elect Donald Trump gives his acceptance speech during his election night rally on Wednesday in New York. Photo: Reuters

President-elect Donald Trump gives his acceptance speech during his election night rally on Wednesday in New York. Photo: Reuters

Donald Trump’s victory prevented Hillary Clinton from becoming the first woman president of the U.S. This has come as a surprise because most pollsters expected a victory for Hillary Clinton, who enjoyed an average 4 per cent lead in the opinion polls. Most polls and analysis of Mr. Trump’s politics focused on his support among the white working class and concluded that his appeal was limited to them and predicted that he had no path to victory in a country that is increasingly diverse, ethnically and linguistically.

Since this widely shared forecast has been disproven, the underlying assumptions about the social constituency that catapulted Mr. Trump also begs a revision. Mr. Trump’s own formulation has been a call for unity “as one nation, under one flag and under one god”, constantly singling out “radical Islamic terrorism”, as the enemy. There was no mention of Islam or terrorism in his late night victory speech in New York.

In his victory speech, Mr Trump sang a different tune from the previous evening. Flanked by wife Melania, children, and the handful of Republican leaders that supported him in his mostly single-handedly run campaign, he ignored chants to “build that wall”, and “lock her up”, speaking in a calm and measured tone.

He said it is now time for America “to bind the wounds of division”, referring to the acrimonious Presidential campaign.

Conscious of the fact that his campaign that centred on anti-globalisation and anti-trade themes that have already created heartburns in world capitals, Mr. Trump said: “All people and all other nations. We will seek common ground, not hostility; partnership, not conflict.”

The President-elect said America will “no longer settle for anything less than the best”, but that will not be in conflict with other nations. “I want to tell the world community that while we will always put America’s interests first, we will deal fairly with everyone, with everyone.”

The applause may have been the meekest that welcomed him in the last one year, but he went on. “…It is a movement comprised of Americans from all races, religions, backgrounds, and beliefs, who want and expect our government to serve the people, and serve the people it will,” he said. Mr. Trump then came down from the dais and shook hands with the invitees.

Clinton concedes

Meanwhile, in her concession speech, Ms.Clinton vowed to work with American President-elect Trump, and urged fellow Democrats to allow him the chance to lead the country,

'"Last night, I congratulated Donald Trump and offered to work with him on behalf of our country," she told supporters, holding back tears in her first public remarks since Mr.Trump's upset victory.

"I hope that he will be a successful president for all Americans."

"This is not the outcome we wanted or we worked so hard for and I'm sorry that we did not win this election for the values we hold for our country," she added.

She added that the constitutional democracy "enshrines the peaceful transfer of power, and we don't just respect that, we cherish it."

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