America Turns Right

USA

The USA voted to follow on Barack Obama’s eight-year term as President by handing the White House to Donald Trump.

The election was won by Clinton by the narrowest of margins in the popular vote – with almost everything counted the tally is currently:

Clinton 58,879,687

Trump 58,844,144

However the USA’s “electoral college” election system turns this into a sturdy Trump majority in votes for President – the system can hand the Presidency to the less popular candidate. Similarly four years ago a fairly narrow margin of victory for Obama still produced a decisive electoral college victory.

Opinion polls had suggested a final lead of around 4% for Clinton – why they were wrong will be the subject of intense investigation among psephologists in coming weeks though it would appear that like with the UK’s Brexit vote, people who had not voted for many years were switched back on by a message promising to deliver a better yesterday.

It takes remarkable spin doctoring to present the billionaire nominee of the party that had – and kept – majority control of both the nation’s parliamentary chambers, House and Senate, as the protest vote and outsider candidate, but it worked. The Republican establishment will now also have the choice of new Supreme Court judge appointments, likely to lead to further shifts against human rights and equality legislation.

The result is likely to be bad news for LGBT rights in the country, and loses the USA from the group of countries internationally championing LGBT equalities in countries whose laws and records are bad on LGBT issues. Trump – despite once waving a rainbow flag upside down to claim widespread support from the gay community – has alongside his Vice President Mike Pence promised to legislate to do trans people harm, support “gay cure” therapy and allow widespread opt-outs from LGBT equality legislation.