Last night, Donald Trump was elected the 45th president of the United States in a surprising victory that defied many expectations going into election day. Trump is a businessman who gained celebrity status with his popular reality show, The Apprentice. His political career began with his outspoken criticism of President Obama. He has never before served in office and will become the oldest president ever elected to a first term.
His victory was a shock to many Americans, including both campaigns, who believed Hillary Clinton would be victorious heading into election day as Trump had a much narrower path to victory. Clinton was seeking to be the first female president but was met with distrust and suspicion by many Americans who view her as corrupt and above the law. Clinton is the former first lady of the United States, Senator of New York, and U.S. Secretary of State in the Obama administration.
Trump’s victory brings an end to an election that has divided Americans more than any other. Trump has portrayed his opponent and her 25 years of experience as an example of a corrupt system that had failed Americans, while Clinton cast Trump as divisive and unfit to lead the country.
Trump mobilized millions of Americans with his pledge to “Make America Great Again”. Voters who were worried about the economy, terrorism, and angry about the rising equality gap flocked to support Trump.
One by one, states that were too close to call fell in line for Trump, starting with Ohio, then Florida, and North Carolina. Trump even won states that have traditionally been Democratic-leaning states, like Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.
Just after 2 AM, John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign chairman, told her supporters to go home for the night and that there would be no further statements until the votes were finished being counted. Shortly after, Trump delivered his victory speech, saying Clinton had called him to congratulate him on his victory.
In a speech that was very different from campaign rhetoric, Trump said, “Hillary has worked very long and very hard over a long period of time and we owe her a major debt of gratitude for her service to our country.” He stated it was time for Americans to unite in healing the wounds of a divisive election. Trump also thanked his wife, Melania, and his children for their patience through a difficult campaign.
Trump has not given a detailed plan as to how he would handle the student loan crisis, but he has offered hints as to what he will do as president. His ideas on how to help borrowers struggling to repay their student loans are similar to existing income-based repayment plans started under the Obama administration.
Trump has proposed capping monthly payments at 12.5 percent of the borrower’s income and forgiving any outstanding debt after 15 years of repayments. Current income-based repayment plans caps monthly payments at 10 percent of a borrower’s income and forgive any remaining debt after 20 years of repayments.
Trump’s campaign has not offered details on how much his plan will cost but has said it will be paid for by reducing spending on college tuition and fewer defaults on loans.