This was an unprecedented, phenomenal political upset of historical proportions, probably surpassing the Brexit fiasco in its repercussions and political fallout. The American public is baffled, the polls and survey forums are astounded, US and other media houses are dumbfounded and the rest of the world is in utter stupor. While the possibility had always been talked about and analysed, no one, not even the enthused Trump supporters thought it could come true. And so the unbelievable has happened. Donald Trump has become the 45th US president after a stunning victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton.

After the dust has settled, sifting through the madness and the furore, the ensuing despair and the euphoria (in the Trump camp), we will be able to analyse how and what transpired that lead to the rise of the underdog to the Oval office. Almost all intricately designed polls and surveys, meticulous in their data drawing, predicted that Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton would win. The results of the elections call for soul searching, introspection and redefining of preferences at multiple political and social levels.

Trump’s win is being termed as an erosion of the great American dream of a pluralistic, inclusive, free and equal society for all, irrespective of religion, caste, colour or creed. Trump winning the elections was not half as surprising as the shock and realisation about how a majority of the voters identified and believed in all that Trump stood for – sexism, racism, misogyny, prejudice and self-serving interests. Trump is representative of a now chronically divisive, deeply polarised society that exerted itself in the form of racism and white supremacy that Trump rallied for.

Many analysts hold the Democrat party machinations and even the nomination of Clinton directly responsible for the Trump win. This was an absolute strategy and policy failure of the Democrat party. It failed to fully comprehend the reality of the demographics and the socio-economic faultlines that had emerged in the American society in last one decade. The campaign, though intensive, was intrinsically miscalculated and misjudged the popular sentiments of the voters. Though it centred on women and minority rights, including the Muslims, Hispanics, Latinos, Black Americans and the LGBTQ communities, it utterly failed to connect with the blue-collar working-class white Americans in middle America that formed a majority of the voters. Many argue that the minorities will now be subjected to the “tyranny of the majority” in the resultant democratic setup. Also, many Democrat voters themselves were against Clinton and doubted her credibility. Many voters voted for Trump because they did not want to vote for Clinton. She was considered a representative of the elite, privileged class – the nobility – that did not care about the interests of the common White man in the sidelines and the country lanes.

The Democrats missed it big time; they missed that these elections were no longer about fighting big pompous wars externally. These elections were primarily about regaining the American homeland internally; it was about creating jobs for Americans, it was about their economic revival, their homeland security issues, and their healthcare systems. They were no longer about branding America as the “land of opportunity” for people from all parts of the world; they were directed closer to home – about regaining what the American people had lost in the last few decades.

Trump primarily won the votes of the hitherto invisible and neglected, yet now the game-changer presence of the White middle and lower class, the less educated, unskilled Americans who lost out their jobs in tens of millions in the last one decade. As America endeavoured to reach out and impact people in all parts of the world in a continuing process of globalisation and Americanisation, there were pervasive and subtle socio-economic and demographic changes taking place at home. As immigrants and refugees flowed into America, they took up more and more jobs. A large part of the existing job market was outsourced to the developing countries thus creating inland job crises. The schism between the haves and the haves-not increased, the elites and the rich became richer while the average income of the middle class working family remained stagnant for the last forty years, even deteriorated according to some surveys. Adding to the woes, the immigrants, Trump alleged, brought with them the threat of terrorism and a menace of radicalism. It was precisely the depth of these issues, the disenfranchisement and the disillusion of the White Americans with the state policies, that the Democrats failed to comprehend and which became a rallying cry for the Republican candidate. The common White Americans felt disconnected. And Trump connected with them.

The Republicans and Trump schemed their campaign diligently around race, identity, nationalism and economic slogans. It was a generally inward-driven campaign designed to garner maximum White American votes from rural areas. With the onslaught of immigrants, the average White American also suffered an identity crisis and felt compelled to assert his right of individuality rather than the values of diversity and multi-ethnicity that the liberals stood for. The so-called Old America rejected the rapid social and cultural changes being ushered in by the diverse liberal America.

The US election results yielded another abject failure of a different nature, that of the pollsters’ predictions and survey bodies. Polls after polls predicted a comfortable victory for Clinton. Aided by the media firmly on her side, she was actually convinced and assured of her win. And then the numbers game went berserk. What did they miss here? While voters for Clinton were loud and clear about their decision, Trump had a huge swathe of quiet, poll-avoiding majority, people who voted for him but preferred not to admit it. White turnout in rural area was unexpectedly high. While the pollsters other related statistics were almost precise, their likely voters’ screens simply did not catch the high impending turnout in White rural areas.

People believe, being an investor, a businessman, owning a real estate empire, Trump will have a better financial and economic plan to implement. They hope that he will be able to reverse the economic inequality he decried during his campaign, bring back manufacturing jobs in the country, find a way to give people better healthcare for less money, pump in enough money and invest in infrastructure to revive the economy.

When Trump is sworn in as president in January, he will have the benefit of a Republican majority in both houses of Congress, the Senate and the House of Representatives so that it would be easy for him to deliver on his pledged promises. His winning speech was on a conciliatory and unifying note. Perhaps his rhetoric was just that – rhetoric – to mobilise the disillusioned masses. Perhaps with a team of better, saner advisors, he might tone down his hard, racist stance on many national and international issues. With both Clinton and Obama congratulating Trump, the process of a smooth transition of power has begun. This also demonstrates how developed democracies, irrespective of their inherent faults, equip themselves with ingenious tactics to weather the intrusions of nationalist and racist rhetoric.

The world leaders too have reacted with diplomatic caution and reluctance, sending in their congratulatory notes and greetings. However, the reverberations and the repercussions of the political trauma will be felt across the world for a long time to come. Will Trump continue with his fear-mongering rhetoric that he persisted with in his campaign to divide America or will he adopt a more accommodative, inclusive state policy to unify and “renew the American dream”, only time will tell. Americans and the world wait anxiously.