TUMUT’S Susan Ivill was feeling like many ex-pat Americans on Thursday morning following Donald Trump’s stunning election victory.
“Numb,” she said. “I have brought my two sons up to have respect, honesty and integrity, and now we have a head of state who has none of those things; it is truly frightening. I went to a Rotary meeting on Wednesday night and said ‘sorry’ to everyone. It was a shock result, and I don’t even think Donald Trump expected it.”
Susan grew up in San Antonio, Texas, and later lived in St Louis, Missouri, before moving to Tumut nine years ago.
She suspects she knows where much of Trump’s support came from.
“A lot of the vote probably came from uneducated people,” she said.
“America has 319 million people and only half of them voted. You have to wonder what would have happened if voting had been compulsory. In the past, Americans have been passionate about where they come from, and about having to make a difference.”
Susan has spoken to friends and relatives in the US since the result.
“They’re a bit concerned about the future, but passionate about the communities they live in,” she said.
“They know not to give up; that you have to be in it to win it.”
Susan conceded that many American people didn’t care for either candidate.
“Neither candidate was greatly trusted,” she said.
She concedes that the result was part of the democratic process.
“America has obviously spoken; look at the map numbers,” she said.
She believes there is reason not to panic.
“He’s not a stupid man; he wouldn’t be where he is today if he was,” she said.
“He now has a big job of uniting America after such a divisive campaign. He might be the head of state, but he still has to answer to Congress. He has his work cut out for him, but he has a lot of smart people around him.”