Just like the rest of Europe, the EUR community woke up Wednesday morning to the news that Donald Trump had been elected as the next President of the United States of America. And this despite all the signs the evening before indicating this office would go to Hillary Clinton. A massive shock for many considering that finding Trump supporters at the Woudestein or Hoboken campus is like looking for a needle in a haystack. Three students and three researchers describe their first reactions upon hearing the news.

Henri Beunders (Professor of Developments in Public Opinion, ESHCC)

‘Before long we’ll see the launch of an impeachment procedure.’

Henri Beunders

“When I saw the high voter turnout, that’s when I knew: Trump is going to win. His win is in line with Berlusconi, Putin, Orban in Hungary, Szydło in Poland and Brexit: we’re witnessing a revolution.”

“All of us are living in a bubble. Intellectual students, universities and the mainstream media all supported Clinton. I did too. This is also a defeat for them. The media must be scratching its head as to why no one took Trump and his supporters seriously. Why didn’t they take to the streets to try to understand the rednecks and the white man?”

“The Democrats and the intelligentsia look like fools now. In the coming time they’re not going to remain quiet and they’ll try to get as much dirt on Trump as they can. Before long we’ll see the launch of an impeachment procedure.”

Steven Kushner (American citizen and professor in psychiatry at Erasmus MC)

“I’m in San Diego, California with family. On election day, I mainly spent my time watching the elections on television. I was already done voting. I did that from the Netherlands through the mail, on Hillary Clinton. These are elections unlike I’ve ever experienced. Earlier, you were just rooting for one candidate and against the other, but it has never happened before that I found the other candidate just fundamentally unfit. That’s what makes this loss so difficult.

“Trump has very little experience on the international stage, and that’s what worries me the most. The emergence of China, for example, could be great, if managed well.. If not, that’s an unfathomable risk to global security. He does need help, I hope he gets it. Hopefully the campaign was just all politics, and he now sees the gravity of his position.”

Tim Hodes (19), Psychology student

“Someone without knowledge of politics taking power? I’m curious to see how this will play out. I’m going to go watch Trump’s speech, but it seems he came across as quite reasonable. My gut reaction was to cry when I heard the news of his victory. I simply can’t see how this will work. On the one hand he won’t be able to realise some of the promises he made, he’s also bound by treaties. But he’s what I would call a rational idiot. There’s always the chance he will continue to provoke.”

Etienne Augé (propaganda researcher, ESHCC)

“I totally did not see this coming. In a way it’s also good news: a candidate like Hillary still can’t win despite having the support of Wall Street and Goldman Sachs, despite raising so much money. She still wasn’t able to get the people to rally behind her. In this sense it’s a victory for democracy. I’m no fan of Clinton, but I’m also certainly not a fan of Trump. I worry that Americans didn’t vote for Clinton because she’s a woman.”

“What I’m happy about now is that this horrible election campaign is over. There was so much hate on both sides. An interesting time awaits us. People say Trump was the worst candidate ever, but that’s not the case. Europe was also shocked when Reagan was elected. Hopefully this will turn out the same as it did with Arnold Schwarzenegger in California. It didn’t end too badly there and right now it’s hard to say what kind of president Trump will be.”

Read also: Etienne Augé looks forward to the elections with EM

Sascha Bambach (27), master student in Criminal Law

“When I checked at 7:30 this morning, I thought Hillary might still have a chance, but no, there was no way for her to win. I didn’t support either side; neither one of them was the ideal candidate. On Facebook it looked like the whole world was horrified, with people already comparing Trump to Hitler. That’s going a bit far and this doesn’t mean the end of the world. We’ll have to wait and see what the effects are, but my feeling is that the entire show doesn’t really concern me.”

Rogier van Reekum (sociologist, EGS3H)

“I watched until 3:30 in the morning, and by then the tide had already turned in favour of Trump. When I woke at eight o’clock it still came as a surprise, because there were so many factors involved for Trump to win this election. To be honest I feel it’s truly a disaster, Trump as President. Not so much because it means the political winds have changed. I believe that Trump will surround himself with people from the right-winged camp of the Republican Party, such as Chris Christie, Rudy Giuliani and Mike Huckabee. People who can help him make decisions.”

“What’s most damaging is the effect this will have on politics in America and in other countries. Suddenly it’s acceptable to be openly racist, to openly speak out against human rights and the constitution. The politics of the extreme right are the new norm and we will feel the repercussions in Europe too.”

Vince Heijmans (19), Economics and Business Economics student

“I’m not really surprised by the result; it was to be expected. With all his money that guy was able to buy off everyone. I saw the result this morning and I thought: this means war, he’s all about production, he wants more money. It’s only about the money. This couldn’t happen in the Netherlands where we still have a system where multiple parties have to work together in a coalition so that a single party can’t assume complete power outright.”