Mancunian-Americans react to President Trump

  • Before the US Presidential election last week, The NQ interviewed Americans living in Manchester
  • Following Donald Trump's shock victory over Hillary Clinton, we caught up with our interviewees for their reaction

During the early hours on 9 November, the world watched as Donald Trump was elected as the next President of the United States of America.

Stunning millions, Trump’s new presidency has been greeted with uproar and outrage all across the world. From vast staged protests across the States to Canada’s immigration website being sent into overdrive, the people of America have made their feelings towards the idea of ‘President Trump’ clear.

From the first day of Trump’s campaign, very few took him seriously, and most never believed that a man of such controversy stood any chance of being the next leader of one of the most powerful countries in the world. So how exactly did he manage to win himself the golden seat in The White House?

Following on from our previous piece on the US Election cycle, we caught up with the three American citizens who have been residing in the UK throughout the duration of this difficult election period. We wanted to hear if their views on America had changed since news of the new Presidency, and whether this situation has changed their future plans on ever returning to their home country.

Rachel Velebny, MMU fashion journalism student, seemed sterling in her decision about ever moving back to the States:

“Aside from my family I am very much done with the US. Thankfully I'm married to an EU citizen so I can be 'done' in a real way.”

Rachel Velebny headshot
Rachel Velebny

One of the main appeals of Trump’s opponent, Hillary Clinton, was the fact she was the first woman to have ever won the presidential nomination of the Democratic Party. For women all across the world, this was a huge step forward in gender equality, and there has been some controversy towards the reasoning behind Trump’s success over Clinton. Would America rather have a man of such extremist views run their country over a woman? Rachel seemed to think so:

“I am angry and heartbroken because it feels like my country voted for me to be a second class citizen; that they thought a sexual predator would make a better leader than an incredibly qualified woman.”

Being in Manchester, away from America during this time seemed especially hard for Carmen Donohue. A resounding sense of concern for her family was apparent:

“As expats, we feel extra helpless as we’re not without loved ones. There’s a fear about what they’re in store for. It’s being called the ‘white-lash’; you’ve seen the videos of racist chants in schools right? The fact we can’t help as we’re 1,000s of miles away is especially difficult.”

Carmen Donohue before the election

Though being away from family and loved ones at such a problematic time, Carmen seemed eager to praise the response she has received from the people of Manchester, and the overall sense of support this city seems to offer:

“My friends in Manchester have been very kind, very consolatory to me. I’ve had total strangers come and hug me on my commute, maybe they’ve heard my American accent on the phone over the years – so they knew I was American. There’s been a real outpour of love, and it’s been very touching. I feel even more at home here.”

When asked about how she feels Americans can move forward following the result, Carmen focused on trying to bring the clearly-divided nation together:

“People stopped talking to each other. There’s definitely a segregation of ideologies. Everyone has been living in their own bubble. The Right have been exclusively watching Fox News, while the Left have been watching MSNBC.

"The left are only ‘shocked’ because they haven’t been watching Fox, you know? They’re not aware of how the other-half thinks, and what they’re being told on the news. There needs to be more conversation and inclusive debate.

"I can’t see any way that a Trump Presidency could possibly benefit the country.”

Michael Prinzing, a former Oxford University student, similarly voiced his concerns regarding the obvious divide currently running through the States:

“A recent poll found that roughly half of the members of each party think that the opposing party represents a danger to the country. I can’t say I’m immune to that. Trump is wicked, and I don’t know how anyone could possibly think otherwise.”

Michael was one of the thousands of UCLA students who took to the streets to voice their anguish and resentment against their new President. Chanting phrases such as ‘F*ck Don Trump’ and ‘Not my President’, the students certainly got their message across, though Michael assured us it was a well-behaved affair. 

Students protesting Trump
Students protesting Trump's victory

Overall, a huge sense of disappointment, and even fear, was expressed amongst our three interviewees. A great deal of concern for families still residing in America was shared, as it is feared that those who are not as financially secure, or are of a minority ethnic group, will suffer the most under a Trump presidency. The United States will need to unite together in order to get through the next four (potentially eight?) years under Donald Trump’s power. As Carmen so cleverly put it;

“We need to come together, all Americans. Love conquers all, and we do need to work together for what’s right. We’re just going to have to wait and see…”