Round-up: Scotland reacts to President Trump


Gallows humour abounds after shock victory of Donald Trump

THE WORLD is reeling from news of the shock victory of Donald Trump.

Trump ran a campaign targeting immigrants and muslims as well as blaming the US political and financial establishment for the country’s problems. He leads by 278 to 218 electoral college votes, over the 270 winning line, and narrowly leads in the popular vote.

He drew criticism not only from his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton but from the leadership of his own Republican party.

Polls consistently put Clinton ahead. Trump won by breaking into traditional Democratic voting constituencies in the ‘Rust Belt’ states, narrowly winning Florida, as well as mobilising his own republican base.

In Scotland, politicians were unusual for often putting forward strident view on who they wanted to win the contest, unanimously backing Clinton.

CommonSpace gathers together reaction from Scottish, UK and world politicians to the news of Trump’s victory.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who took the unusual position among national leaders to publicly back Clinton, said: “While this is not the outcome I hoped for, it is the verdict of the American people and we must respect it. I congratulate president-elect Trump on winning the election.

“We value our relationship with the United States and its people.  The ties that bind Scotland and the US – of family, culture and business – are deep and longstanding and they will always endure.

“It is normal in any election for those on the losing side to be feel disappointment, but today, many in America and across the world, will also feel a real sense of anxiety. I hope the president-elect will take the opportunity to reach out to those who felt marginalized by his campaign and make clear – in deeds as well as words – that he will be a president for everyone in modern, multicultural America.

“Today must also be a moment for those who share progressive values – all of us who believe in tolerance and diversity – to speak up loudly and clearly for the values we hold dear.

“I also want to pay tribute to Hillary Clinton. While I am personally disappointed that she will not be America's first woman president, her candidacy represented a major step forward for women in America and across the world – for that, as well as for her many years of public service, she is owed a deep debt of gratitude.”

Political leaders, especially those in positions of power, typically don’t comment on foreign elections. It is seen as an intrusion to call for a vote for a given candidate in a foreign countries election, and can cause difficulty for a political leader if their favoured candidate doesn’t win.

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale, who has previously described Trump as “an arse”, said: “Like countless people in Scotland, the UK, and across the globe I watched with great sadness as the results from the presidential election came in.

“While we must all respect the result of this democratic contest, today is a dark day for those of us who believe in compassion, tolerance and equality.

“Donald Trump was responsible for a hate-filled campaign that was dominated by lies, misogyny and racism. As president-elect, he now has a responsibility to America and the world to heal the deep divisions he has caused.

“Across the US, there will be women, gay people and Muslims who will now be incredibly worried about the direction of their country, but there will also be countless working-class Americans who will be hurting today. They all need reassurances that I very much hope will be forthcoming from the Republican Party.

“I was a great admirer of Hillary Clinton, and campaigned for her in America so I personally feel heartbroken by this result. I believe Hillary would have been a great president – the most qualified female presidential candidate ever has been defeated by the least-qualified male candidate ever.

“But the United States and Scotland share a rich history and friendship between our people. That will not be swept away by one election result.”

Dugdale took time out of her duties as the leader of a major Scottish party to campaign for Clinton in the US. She was joined in this effort by former Tony Blair strategist John McTernan:

The UK Conservative party is traditionally the sister party of the US Republicans, headed in this election by Trump.

Ruth Davidson, head of the Scottish Conservatives and leader of the opposition in the Scottish Parliament also distanced herself from Trump during the US election campaign.

She said: “Trump's a clay-brained guts, knotty-pated fool, whoreson obscene greasy tallow-catch.”

Responding to the result, Davidson said: “It's not the result I wanted but we now have to hope that President Trump turns out to be a different man to candidate Trump.

“Mr Trump tapped into the disaffection we are seeing across the world right now due to economic uncertainty. That's not something we can ignore.

“Those of us who believe open, western values are the best way to provide economic security for people now have to redouble our efforts to show they deliver for people.”

Scottish Green Party leader Patrick Harvie responded to the election of a “racist, sexist bully” by saying it was “depressing”. He also said that Trump, who has ancestral links in Scotland as well as extensive business interests, should not be “welcome” in Scotland.

He said: “The election of a racist, sexist bully to the White House is profoundly depressing and will be ringing alarm bells across the world. Scots have been clear in their distaste for Trump and the First Minister has echoed those feelings.

“A year ago after relentless pressure from Greens the First Minister cancelled Trump's Global Scot ambassador status. Although Nicola Sturgeon has said the ties between Scotland and the US will endure, she must be clear that a racist, sexist bully is not welcome in Scotland even if he is US President.

“We cannot allow such a dangerous and deluded individual to have his behaviour normalised out of diplomacy. He needs to get the message from Scotland loud and clear that he will not be extended any courtesies as he has shown zero respect himself.”

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said: “Hope needs to prevail in the face of the politics of division. Open, liberal, tolerant and hopeful voices must stand up and be counted.

“We do not fight fire with fire. Our job as liberals is to make sure we can always inspire people in favour of an open and tolerant society. We want a world where everyone has a fair chance to get up and get on in life and to have respect for who they are.

“We should take that message to inspire people wherever they are in the world.

“We will need to use the special relationship we have with America to influence Mr Trump and to stand up for the different minorities in his country who will wake up today more fearful than they have for decades.”

Prime Minister Theresa May congratulated Trump on his victory:

As did President of the European Council Donald Tusk:

Some Scots took to social media to engage in gallows humour after the election:

This post on instagram got a lot of mileage:

PS: People must stop taking this fake twitter account seriously:

Picture courtesy of Michael Vadon

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