By Aysha Khan, Esther Yu Hsi Lee, and Adrienne Mahsa Varkiani
Donald Trump was elected president on Tuesday night, surprising not just many in the United States, but the rest of the world as well. The media in other countries has provided critical and somber analyses of his victory — and what it means for U.S. democracy.
Here’s how the media in 7 other countries are discussing Trump’s victory.
Canada trolled the United States Tuesday night on Twitter while the election results were still coming in, but the morning after it was official, Canadian media was as shocked as a lot of Americans were.
“Politics, America changed forever,” read a piece on the front page of the Winnipeg Free Press. “Fear disguised as hope as the unthinkable happens: Donald J. Trump is president-elect,” read another piece in the Winnipeg Metro. “In the aftermath of the last two years of campaigning, America — and the world at large — will have to contend with what has been wrought. The racist, hate-filled angry mewling underbelly of American politics has been given voice. And now, it has been given a home in the Oval Office.”
“Oh America, what have you done” read a piece on the front page of the Toronto Star. “America should be ashamed of itself. This is indeed a conspiracy — of racists and reactionaries, white supremacists, misogynists, Islamophobes and xenophobes, isolationists, sexual scavengers, haters.”
Another piece on the front page noted that America elected a person who was “once a mere punchline.” “They granted immense power to an erratic, never-elected and habitually untruthful candidate whose behaviour and policy positions have alarmed much of the world — and who will face no organized opposition in Congress,” the piece noted. “Republicans retained control of the House of Representatives and appeared likely to keep the Senate.”
“World refuses to accept outcome of election, will keep you in suspense,” read a satire piece on the CBC. “‘We said we’d look at it at the time, the world explained of the outcome. ‘Well, we looked at it, and we decided that it’s completely unacceptable.’ After watching in stunned silence over a period of hours as Americans in all corners of the country gradually revealed themselves to be jaw-droppingly ignorant, terrified and hateful, the world poured itself six million stiff drinks and stress-ate forty-five hundred thousand pizzas.”
The Globe and Mail dedicated almost its entire front page to a picture of Trump on Wednesday, declaring a “Trump nation.”
At the onset of his campaign, Trump aggressively claimed that Mexican immigrants were murderers, rapists, and criminals. He also promised that a border wall would be built along the southern U.S. border to prevent unauthorized migration, suggesting that the Mexican government would pay. After Trump’s victory was announced late Tuesday night, the Mexican peso sank to a record low on investor fears of the dissolution of exports deals between the two countries, with El So de Mexico, a Mexico City-based newspaper’s lead headline blaring “Trump triumphs as peso sinks.”
Among Mexican citizens, Trump’s victory was seen as “devastating” with at least one Mexico City newspaper outlet pointing out his intolerance of Mexicans. Another outlet said that his presidency portended a “a bleak future” ahead.
Another Mexican newspaper La Razón included a picture of Trump embracing the U.S. flag under the headline, “United States takes the flag of populism,” condemning Trump as a clown and a scammer.
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto congratulated Trump on Wednesday, saying that he hoped that the two countries would “continue to strengthen ties and cooperation and mutual respect.”
Also, there’s this front page:
Mexican newspaper headline of the day. #election2016 pic.twitter.com/mDDcNZ0cgD
— ed lavandera (@edlavaCNN) November 9, 2016
In addition to publicly encouraging Russia to hack into Hillary Clinton’s emails, Trump has repeatedly exchangedpraise with Putin on the campaign trail. As a result, it’s not surprising that some parts of Russian media focused on the people celebrating a Trump presidency.
The English-language news site The Moscow Times featured a piece titled “Inside Moscow’s pro-Trump Election Night Bash” on its homepage Wednesday morning. This entire event — and the article on it — seems about as terrifying as you’d think, with guests at one point hoping for civil unrest in the United States. “‘I’d like to see the blacks come out…then the priests come out and say they’re defending democracy…” one intoxicated attendee slurred, before being ushered back to his table,” the piece noted. “The drunk man’s outburst may have been outlandish, but it was not fully out of line with the tone of the evening. Many of the attendees were members of extreme patriotic movements — people who say what the Kremlin cannot. For months, they have been gunning for a Trump presidency.”
Another piece in The Moscow Times said that Trump’s victory “has closed Russia’s road to change.” “Never before in its 240 years history has America known so little of what will happen next,” it noted. “But the message that Donald Trump’s sudden triumph sends is very clear: the U.S. political system has failed at its core. The bulwark of liberal democracy is sinking. The West is divided, full of resentment, and weak. The rules are changing. Like a shockwave, this simple message has blasted through national borders, encouraging autocracies across the world. When Russian parliamentarians stood and applauded the news of the Trump’s victory, this was the exact sentiment they were cheering.”
The state-owned Russia Today featured many pieces on the election on its homepage Wednesday morning, including one deriding countries and politicians who formerly criticized Trump and are now sending their best wishes. “Leaders around the world who previously spoke out against Donald Trump now face the unenviable task of swallowing their pride and issuing grudging congratulations to the president-elect to ensure continuing good relations with the US,” read the piece.
“Analysts predict new US president Donald Trump may propose new world agenda,” read a piece on the homepage of the Russian news agency TASS. Another piece reported that Russian lawmakers believe “Russia-US discord will leave with Obama administration” due to Trump’s victory. “Judging by Mr.Trump’s election campaign rhetoric, one may express the hope, a cautious hope so far, that the US foreign policy will change and that the person who is not burdened with the previous administration’s decisions will be a realist, a pragmatist. There is a hope that constructive cooperation between Russia and the US will be built,” the speaker of Russia’s upper house of parliament Valentina Matviyenko told the agency.
Trump’s hawkish take on Pakistan and Islam has played well with India. He’s made obvious attempts to woo Hindu nationalists, who see him as the embodiment of politically incorrect, nationalist, strongman leader they crave. Upon his victory, members of the Hindu Sena partied in the streets of New Delhi. “We are happy and thrilled that he has won,” a Sena spokesperson told BuzzFeed India. “We have been supporting him for a long time. He is the best person to teach a lesson to Pakistan.” Prime Minister Narendra Modi also sent a congratulatory tweet to the president-elect.
Some of media also joined in the platitude. The Times of India tweeted its congratulations, and ABP News commentator Kanchan Gupta tweetedemphatically: “More than Trump’s victory, India should celebrate Hillary’s defeat. She’s no friend of India. Period.
But the glee over Trump’s rise was far from universal in India.
“This is the world’s worst headline,” DNA India wrote. “How did the world’s biggest economy, largest military and the planet’s only hegemonic superpower manage to essentially choose what at best seems to be a character from Looney Tunes to be their Commander in Chief?”
Writers at The Indian Express showed their shock and confusion over the election, exploring the inevitable reality show of 2017 and the many “unknown unknowns” a Trump presidency would bring Indian lawmakers
“Today, 11/9 will prove a day of greater historic import than its better-known palindrome, 9/11,” The Indian Express journalist Praveen Swami wrote. “Today, the United States, architect of the liberal world order built after the great war of 1939–1945, has voted for a man who stands for its dismemberment.”
Scroll.in aimed to cover the election how Western media would if the United States was an underdeveloped nation, characterizing Trump as “a controversial strongman billionaire with questionable connections to the Russian government and a history of misogyny” and the electoral college as archaic.
Even those Indian critics who compared Trump’s rise with populist threads in the rest of the world were disappointed to see the United States also fall victim.
“The world is gobsmacked. So is India, or at least a section of it,” wroteQuartz India editor Harish Menon. “Yes, we have our Modi. But, come on, you chose an Adityanath?” Yogi Adityanath, a parliamentarian in Modi’s party, is a nationalist who’s been accused of hate speech, inciting rioting and murder, and helping lead mass forced conversions of Muslims to Hinduism.
“America’s departure from the world,” read a piece on the homepage of conservative newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. “Americans have actually done it: You picked a ‘hate preacher’ as president.”
German international broadcaster Deutsche Welle featured a variety of stories on Trump on its English-language news site Wednesday morning, including on a need for a strong German climate policy, Merkel’s congratulations to Trump, and the divide of the world on Trump’s victory. Europe is facing the “Brexit feeling all over again after Trump win,” noted one piece.
“It is in the nature of middle societies that they consider the moderate status quo to be stable and the disruption by extremes not possible. That is why they are often surprised by the foreseeable and obvious,” read a piece on the homepage of German national newspaper Die Welt. “Now the foreseeable and obvious, but so far unspeakable has happened. Donald Trump will be president of the United States of America.” There are two scenarios for the future, the piece explained. The best case scenario? Any nonsense Trump doesn’t actually do is a positive surprise, and the world (and markets) will be okay.
Trump has differed on what he’d do in Palestine and Israel — declaring he’d be “neutral” on the conflict and simultaneously being incredibly supportive of Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. As a result, it’s no surprise progressive news organizations there have gone after him.
“Liberal America Has Been Steamrolled by Trump,” read a piece on the homepage of the liberal publication Haaretz. “A world that depends on stability and continuity and a nation that prides itself on maintaining traditions and playing by the rules will now have to contend with a capricious, mercurial and hotheaded president. As long as he doesn’t belie the reputation that brought him this far, the panic that is spreading in the wake of Trump’s victory is completely justified.”
“Trump’s Victory: The Night White Supremacy Made It to the White House,” read another piece, noting that America elected “a virtual fascist who espouses and embraces the hatred of Muslims, Hispanics, women, gays, and, yes, Jews.”
“We feel you, America — it’s lonely at the bottom,” declared a piece on the homepage of +972 Magazine, an independent blog-based website founded by Israeli and Palestinian writers. “With the election of Donald Trump as president, a lot of progressive Americans must be feeling what we here in the Israeli Left have felt for a long time: outnumbered, unwanted, frustrated, and alone.” The piece compared the comparison of Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, explaining that “democracy is not a bulwark against inequality, racism, violence, oppression, and sexism. On the contrary, it is all too easy for people to democratically elect to do horrible things.”
Mail & Guardian, South Africa’s oldest newspaper, openly questionedwhether Trump’s presidency would lead to “bliss or dystopia” on Wednesday. The piece pointed to ten promises that Trump has made that would “make America great” including the suppression of Muslims, undocumented immigrants, and female voices; building a border wall; upholding the 2nd Amendment; and ensuring that the United States always comes first in foreign policy proposals.
South African President Jacob Zuma congratulated Trump on Wednesday morning, hoping that the two countries would work to promote “peace, security and prosperity around the world, especially on the African continent.” Although Trump has yet to would tackle foreign relations with South Africa, he has insulted the country, calling it a “crime ridden mess” and a “total- and very dangerous — mess.”
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