Donald Trump’s victory: ‘I don’t know how to make sense of it’

Americans flying into Dublin express both shock and exultation at US election result

An electronic billboard in Manhattan: “It was really surprising when we found he had won by quite a lot,” said Trump supporter arriving from New York. Photograph: Reuters/Shannon Stapleton

An electronic billboard in Manhattan: “It was really surprising when we found he had won by quite a lot,” said Trump supporter arriving from New York. Photograph: Reuters/Shannon Stapleton

 

Julie and Billy Vigdor shook their heads in shock and disappointment. They had just arrived in Dublin on a flight from Washington DC. While they were in the air, Donald Trump had been announced as president.

It had been a nervous flight. “He was in the lead when we left,” said Julie, “but then we didn’t hear anything until we landed.”

There were mixed reactions to the election results among US passengers who had just heard the news upon arriving in Dublin from New York and Washington. “In the end I didn’t think that the public in the United States would vote for him. Its disappointing,” said Julie. “I don’t know how to make sense of it.”

Taylor and Seth Sansom had also just landed from New York and were smiling – and not just because they are on honeymoon. Having voted for Trump, they were “kind of excited” when they heard the news, said Taylor.

They were coming from Texas and had gone to visit Trump Tower in New York while waiting for their flight. The atmosphere had been “tense”, there were a lot of police and media. It had been nerve-wracking getting on the flight.

“It was really close at that time,” she said. “It was like a 1 per cent difference, so it was really close at that point. It was really surprising when we found he had won by quite a lot.

Scale back

“He is a little different than most of our politicians,” Taylor Sansom added. “We are excited to see what he can do and his perspective. We are looking for someone who is going to be able to really scale back the federal government and maybe free up the states a bit to govern their own people.

“Scale back healthcare,” said her husband.

In a car rental desk at the airport, it was mostly US passengers queuing – and it was easy to spot who had supported which candidate. Some were upbeat and smiling; others looked downcast and shocked. A few declined to comment on the results.

Lisa Klein and Kristie Siron had arrived from Washington and were both visibly dismayed but trying to put on brave face. “I’m very disappointed,” said Klein. “But I hope we all pull together. It has been pretty unpleasant, so I hope it will get better.”

Getting on the flight, she knew it was close but “a lot of the electoral votes hadn’t come in yet. I thought a the electoral votes would pull through, but they didn’t.”

Where you were

They were still on the plane when they heard the news. “People were standing waiting for the door to open and getting on their phones,” said Siron. “I think everyone was surprised.” It’s an event that “you will always remember where you were when you heard the news,” she added.

Larry Broy from Virginia said he was “happy” with the result but admits he “didn’t really want to vote for either one of them”.

“I don’t trust her” he said of Hillary Clinton. “I don’t like Trump’s ethics. It’s terrible to feel that way.”

He shook his head. “I don’t know, I hope the best turns out. It’s scary to me. We need a really good leader. I can’t believe that is all we have to offer right now.”