In Singapore, many Americans just want to move on

Days after the election that propelled tycoon Donald Trump to the most powerful perch in the world, an American expatriate enclave in Woodlands remains in shock.

Residents of Woodgrove, a landed estate near Singapore American School, are not in the mood to talk.

Housewife Laura Zubrod, 45, says the community is just relieved that the election is over.

"Actually, it hasn't come up in any conversations. I think we are all tired of the topic."

It is a far cry from the days prior to last Wednesday, when the election was a hot subject of discussion in the community.

The residents - mainly highly mobile talent living and working in Asia - are by and large beneficiaries of the same globalisation forces that have been blamed by some back home for taking away their jobs.

How 7 US newspapers presented Trump's victory

  • Washington DC's most-read newspaper goes for some simple alliteration in the headline "Trump triumphs", with a picture of Mr Trump giving his victory speech alongside his vice-presidential running mate Mike Pence.
  • The newspaper, published in St Petersburg, Florida, highlights the role of Florida in securing Mr Trump the presidency with its 25 electoral votes. It also identifies his "anti-politician crusade" as important in winning the swing states.
  • The most widely circulated newspaper in the US opted for just "President Trump" as the headline, with a picture of Mr Trump clenching his fist below it.
  • The newspaper calls Trump the "outsider mogul" and state that the working class has spoken.
  • USA Today calls his victory a "stunning upset", and has a picture of him applauding.
  • The tabloid's front page on Wednesday does not focus on the winning candidate, but focuses on the White House instead - dubbing it the "House of Horrors". A picture of the White House under some stormy clouds adorns the cover of the New York City-based newspaper.
  • The New York newspaper has a smiling and waving Mr Trump on the cover, with the words "President Trump" filling the bottom half of the page. The paper also labels the election "2016: The Upset Election" with the statement "They said it couldn't happen" next to Mr Trump's face.

Angry voters - older, poorer and generally white - in middle America chose Mr Trump, who had threatened to scupper a free trade pact and trigger a trade war with China.

Unsurprisingly, many of the Woodgrove residents interviewed voted for Mrs Hillary Clinton, who was viewed as someone who would maintain the status quo. No one expected her to lose, even the few who did choose Mr Trump.

Some fear Mr Trump would lead the United States into an unclear and worrying future.

At least one has contemplated staying in Singapore for the long term to escape the uncertainty back home. The housewife, who did not give her name, suggested that her family may take up permanent residency here.

Thousands of anti-Trump protests take to streets in US

  • Demonstrators marched in cities across the United States on Wednesday to protest against Republican Donald Trump's surprise presidential election win, blasting his controversial campaign rhetoric about immigrants, Muslims and other groups.
  • In New York, thousands of protesters filled streets in midtown Manhattan as they made their way to Trump Tower, Trump's gilded home on Fifth Avenue.
  • Hundreds of others gathered at a Manhattan park and shouted "Not my president".
  • A demonstration of about 6,000 people blocked traffic in Oakland, California, police said.
  • Protesters threw objects at police in riot gear, burned trash in the middle of an intersection, set off fireworks and smashed store front windows.
  • Police responded by throwing chemical irritants at the protesters, according to a Reuters witness.
  • In downtown Chicago, an estimated 1,800 people gathered outside the Trump International Hotel and Tower, chanting phrases like "No Trump! No KKK! No racist USA."
  • Chicago police closed roads in the area, impeding the demonstrators' path.
  • There were no immediate reports of arrests or violence there.
  • "I'm just really terrified about what is happening in this country," said 22-year-old Adriana Rizzo in Chicago, who was holding a sign that read: "Enjoy your rights while you can."
  • In Seattle, police responded to a shooting with multiple victims near the scene of anti-Trump protests. Police said it was unrelated to the demonstrations.
  • Protesters railed against Trump's campaign pledge to build a wall along the border with Mexico to keep immigrants from entering the United States illegally.
  • Hundreds also gathered in Philadelphia, Boston and Portland, Oregon, on Wednesday evening, and organisers planned rallies in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Oakland, California.
  • A representative of the Trump campaign did not respond immediately to requests for comment on the protests.
  • Demonstrators face off with police as they take over the Hollywood 101 Freeway in in Los Angeles.
  • Antoinette Gaggero holds a Trump figurine making a Hitler salute that she found during an anti-Trump protest in Oakland, California.
  • Demonstrators riot in Oakland.
  • Police arrest a demonstrator in Oakland.
  • An officer examines a vandalized police vehicle as demonstrators riot in Oakland.
  • A man tries to remove graffiti as demonstrators riot in Oakland.
  • Patrons hold a sign as people march by in downtown Los Angeles.
  • A demonstrator holds a sign during a protest in San Francisco.
  • Patrons cheer as people march by in downtown Los Angeles.
  • A Donald Trump pinata is burned by people protesting the election of Republican Donald Trump as the president of the United States in downtown Los Angeles.
  • People march in downtown Los Angeles.
  • People protest outside Trump Tower in Manhattan.
  • Demonstrators protest outside the Chicago Theatre.
  • Demonstrators walk through Downtown San Diego.
  • A man gestures as he rides a hoverboard near a group of police officers on motorcycles during a demonstration in San Francisco.
  • People climb a pole outside Trump Tower during protests in Manhattan.

"I was in tears when he won," she said. "My initial thoughts were, what have we done? How do I explain to my kids that we have elected a bigot and a racist as our president?"

Others acknowledge that it is an awkward situation.

When asked what can be done to mitigate the anger of fellow Americans who feel they are the losers in the current economic order, a few said they are not comfortable talking about it.

Many just want to move on.

Said private chef Felicia Janecek, 47: "All we can do now is to rally together and give him a chance to move our country forward.

"Four years goes by quickly, so if he doesn't make a big impact, he will be out of there."

One resident voted for Mr Trump, despite being a minority voter. The South Indian immigrant, who got his US citizenship after 23 years, is a silent supporter of the Republican.

The 40-year-old, who would not give his name for "fear of being ostracised and socially bullied", did so for reasons like rising healthcare costs and falling education levels.

"Friends assumed I voted Democrat, so they reached out to me with an outpouring of grief after the results," he said. "Some were US citizens scared they were going to be deported. Some had gotten their Canadian passports out."

When he told them who he voted for, "their wrath poured out on me". "They wouldn't return my calls; they 'unfriended' me on Facebook," he added.

The senior executive at a multinational corporation admitted Mr Trump is not an ideal president and has much to learn. "I deplore his arrogance, many of his past actions, and many things he has said.

"But because this is America, there are checks and balances. There is a method to the madness."

Some residents remain quietly optimistic. Housewife Monica Moritz, 47, who voted for Mrs Clinton, said the people have exercised the right to vote and have to accept the results. "Once his administration takes over, America will settle and business will start booming again.

"Don't forget, Americans only play to win."


This article was first published on Nov 13, 2016.
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