8th of November hit us like a hurricane. Everyone has something to say, especially people from the War Studies department at King’s. Take a look at what students and professors from our department have to say about the American election.
“The day that racism becomes some sort of patriotism, America is no longer America”
“What’s funny is that it’s not low level racism anymore. Resembling Brexit, the ascendancy of trump will now legitimise draconian behaviour i.e. “The wall”, “deportation forces” and “ban of muslims”. This was my first election where I myself could vote and although I did not have high thoughts of any candidate, there was clearly a moral side against a racist, sexist and deplorable side. I will still go to the US in pursuit of further education and it being my country of birth (yes Trump I am one of those “anchors” you so want to get rid off). America is still a beautiful place with endless opportunities (as we saw last night) and we shouldn’t allow someone like trump to ruin our futures if we can control it. At times of extreme adversity, we must stand up and face it with dignity…”
Emil Wilson, 3rd year IR
“I cannot believe how much Hillary Clinton, the most qualified and experienced candidate was let down like this. Feminism is very very much needed in today’s world and especially in the most “forward” thinking country.”
Shalini Chatterjee, 3rd year IR
“Look, I’m as crushed as anyone by Trump’s victory but enough with all this moving to Canada nonsense. If one defeat is enough to make you give up on your country then you never loved it in the first place. Tonight the people were stupid, but they have the right to be. That’s democracy and it is still worth fighting for. So we respect the result. We stay engaged. We try to make this work and in 4 years we come back. Or 4 years after that. Or 4 years after that.
Don’t give up the ship.”
Patrick Visser, 3rd year War Studies at KCL
“I am not known for sharing my political views but I will not remain silent this time. Coming from a country and a region which is increasingly becoming radical right wing; and a place which has suffered decades of communism, I know what both look like. I have not publicised it in any way but I was a Hillary supporter since day one. Not because of the ‘woman card’ but because she has the experience, knows what she can and cannot do as a president, and has been dedicated to her country politically for over thirty years. I know she has her flaws but she could truly make a beneficial impact on the US.
The US, a place known for attracting people looking for a place with opportunities, a symbol of freedom and diversity. That same America of chances has become subjected to mockery and harassment. It is not ‘America, what did you do?’, it’s not America that ‘did it’. This decision is a consequence of the way working class white men have been treated in the country, of what the Democratic party did not do in the last years and did not do throughout Hillary’s campaign, and of what many Americans understand wrong about politics. This great land, the strongest country in the world, is now to have a leader who refuses to accept climate change exists, is genuinely racist, is pro-torture (which has absolute prohibition under international law and is seen as the ultimate crime committed against a human being), is a sexist and a homophobe and the list goes on. I am not shocked that that happened, especially given how undemocratic the American elections system is, but I am concerned about what will happen to the Hispanic and African-American minorities, to the LGBT+ community, to gender equality, and to all these people who still hold the idea of the US as a land of opportunities and are scared of the future.
America did not need to ‘get great again’, it was/is great, but it now needs to find its focus and balance again. America, you will go through this night and will rise again… I hope. #prayforAmerica”
Ilina Trendafilova, 3rd year IR at KCL
“In his acceptance speech, Trump declared he would reach his hand out to all Americans and ask we work together to improve our nation. When a president asks this we must answer the call to work towards improving the nation. However, with freedom comes vigilance. Trump, you will be our president. And as your people we will do what we ought to do: hold you to account. We’re not all running to Canada and we’re not all going to let you do whatever you want. We are going to try and move forward but if you do one thing which runs counter to the ideals which make us American (inclusiveness, diversity, acceptance, and tolerance) as you did during your campaign, we will be there to push back every time. What makes America great is not that we always choose the perfect leader and have the sunniest of days. What makes America great is that regardless of the circumstance, no matter how dire things may be, the institutions which underlie our politics and our society will continue to stand. Furthermore, our love for each other as Americans who share values (regardless of race, gender, orientation, or religion) has stabilized us through days infinitely darker than the ones we face now. God bless the left, right, center, and god bless the United States of America.”
Derek Eggleston, 2nd year IR at KCL
“Scared that it will give momentum to nationalist and populist mouvements in Europe! Especially with Le Pen and even Sarkozy, who since today has embraced the Trump rhetoric in France.”
Elise Lauriot Prevost, 2nd year IR at KCL
“I am shocked to see Donald Trump being elected as president of the United States. Somebody holding this undisputedly most powerful office should have a significant amount of diplomatic skill. We can clearly negate that to be the case. Let us hope that hard-earned peaceful relations among the United States and its allies are not being ruined from one day to another. Let us hope the American ideal of democracy survives this challenge. Let us hope this development to be a motivation for a return to more solidarity in Europe in order to withstand Trump’s America.”
Julia Huentemann, 1st year IR at KCL
“As upsetting as the Trump victory is, this is not the time to point fingers and widen the ideological division between socio-economic classes. When people have such a strong feeling of hate towards politicians and when people would rather vote for a misogynistic, racist, inexperienced candidate instead of someone who is perceived to represent the establishment, there is obviously something wrong with Western politics. Now, more than ever, the Left needs to be united, strong, and hopeful. Taking action towards self-examination and reinvention is the next step.”
Ioana Ilie, 3rd Year War Studies at KCL
“It’s not the results any of us opted for, but it’s the one we got. The American people are sick and tired of the establishment and media taking advantage of them. Though their scapegoat is horrendous, their disillusionment with the current system is understandable. Even though the popular vote was given to Hillary, the outdated electoral college puts Trump as the president elect. Makes you wonder if the primaries weren’t rigged what could have happened…
But I will stand by my Americans – family members, friends and good people who elected Trump. I will also stand by those who elected Clinton. Now is the time for unity, and if we have to take this route then so be it. He is my president for now but America will always be my country.”
Anya Wasserman, 2nd Year IR at KCL
“What disturbs me the most is the moment I’ll have to write <<President Trump>> in my essays… That is indeed a scary thought”
Andrei Popoviciu, 2nd Year IR at LC:
“Yes there were MANY Reasons for Trump’s win, but I’m stunned by some people simply dismissing those who voted for Trump as idiots, racists, homophobes, etc. Yes we can’t overlook the nature of his supporters and many of them do have these abhorrent qualities, but equally many are genuinely mad at being labelled as soon as they open their mouths. There is no dialogue anymore, if someone utters an opinion outside of the liberal mainstream – they are not deemed a discussant with another opinion. They are deemed a racist, a xenophobe, or a ‘whacky’ guy stuck in the 1910’s. We have to stop lying to ourselves. These people exist, and dismissing them only alienates them further while making them more aggressive and determined. We have to talk to them, because otherwise it looks like they will crush the us and the ‘liberal/democratic order.”
Stanislav Skryabin, 2nd year IR at KCL
Former Head of Department, Professor Theo Farrell
Anglo-American Foreign Policy Lecturer, Dr. John Bew, summed it up
Alessio Patalano, lecturer in War Studies on maritime issues in Asia
Cyber specialist, Professor Thomas Rid
Our beloved Head of Department, Professor Rainsborough kicked off the night with humour (how quickly those smiles disappeared from our faces):
Kieran Mitton’s view
Alexander Hitchens’ parallel with the UK:
Dr Christine Cheng helped draw up the 2000 UN Millennium Development Goals – she is not too optimistic about human security now:
Professor Neumann is probably the War Studies lecturer most often seen on TV. And really it is not only his expertise that makes us see why… he speaks for the people:
Shiraz Maher shocked by the news
Lastly, Professor Freedman calls US on smooth political transition, is there hope?