His campaign was vitriolic, sometimes acrimonious.
He was labeled a racist, a bigot, anti-Mexican, anti-immigrant, anti-muslim.
Despite this, Republican candidate Donald Trump was on Tuesday elected the 45th president of the United States.
President-elect Trump defied the polls and popular media hype that favoured his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.
“Now it’s time for America to bind the wounds of division, we have to get together, to all Republicans and Democrats and Independents across this nation, I say it’s time for us to come together as one united people.”
The Federation’s Foreign Affairs Minister Mark Brantley expects St Kitts and Nevis and the wider CARICOM grouping to actively engage with the new Trump Administration.
“America is a country of structure, it’s a country which has within its constitution checks and balances, so my expectation would be that President-elect Trump will function as any other president will function. Ultimately, his duty is to look after the interests of the people of the United States, my concern has always been the fallout for the Caribbean and I look forward to what might happen in the weeks and months particularly as he’s sworn in next year and to see how that will look for us in the Caribbean.”
Mr Brantley was asked what was the best approach for St Kitts and Nevis and by extension CARICOM, in dealing with the new administration.
“I think our approach has to be our usual one, one of open dialogue and engagement. It is no secret that the Caribbean has done well with Republican administrations so we must continue to engage. America is a critical ally to the entire region and I think that we have to engage openly and at the end of the day we have to remember that many Caribbean people live in the US and we have to engage at that level. I would encourage that we double efforts and seek with this new administration to get past some of the outstanding issues we were not able to get past with the previous administration such as deportation , loss of correspondent banking relationships, de-risking, issues in relation to aid and overseas developmental assistance.”
Former Grenada Attorney General Jimmy Bristol, cites both Brexit and the just concluded US election as representing a trend towards the right that’s likely to hurt the global community.
“You’ve got France blaming their plight on the immigrants from Africa, Germany blaming their plight on the refugees, England blaming their plight on the refugees and the people of colour, the US similarly. The problem is it’s not the refugees, the problem is the very countries in which their peoples are the citizens that have caused the problems. They have moved manufacturing out of their countries to China, India, Indonesia and all these places and to Mexico resulting in the loss of jobs at home so it’s the very business people who are at the root of it.”
US-based attorney Gabriel Christian, who has Caribbean roots, told WINN FM that while the results are hard to swallow, the democratic process must be respected.
“I’m going to have to say that democracy works, the people have spoken and you have to respect the will of the people but we have to understand that progress is not linear, the Germans, the most educated Europeans at the time many would say, did vote and you know what happened and so we have to lead with our best hopes and not our fears. This is the eruption of anger at the de-industrialization of a country that once was a producer of many things that have gone to Mexico and China and people have reacted in a visceral way. We’re going to have some tough times, we’ve seen what happened with the markets, the whole world is shell shocked.”
There are several lessons for the Caribbean coming out of this latest US election, according to Grenada’s Jimmy Bristol.
We should take note of this trend and how elections and campaigns are conducted so that when we’re engaged In our electoral process or engaged in referendum that we do so with wisdom and we do not allow ourselves to be fooled by politicians into making decisions which are politically motivated and not in the best interest in the country. We should examine issues and vote according to issues and do so objectively.”
And more Caribbean reaction expected, as the region acknowledges the fact that political outsider Donald Trump beats Hillary Clinton in a stunning upset.