In an unprecedented turn of events, President-Elect Donald J. Trump held a press conference during which he conceded the November 8th election to Hillary Clinton. His decision was spurred by a Facebook post by Sara Draper, a student at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, and founder of Slacktivist Civil Liberties Union (SCLU). In past months the SCLU’s online activities have been behind the cancellation of the Dakota Access Pipeline and the end of infringement upon the rights of indigenous people throughout North America.
“I just thought that we had these amazing tools in our pockets that could allow us to, with minimal to no effort on our parts, both boost our egos and make a real difference at the same time,” said Draper in an email conversation. Draper was incited by the recent election results to make an “especially long” Facebook post threatening to leave the U.S. behind and move to Canada. She also signed multiple online petitions.
Less than five days after Draper’s post, President-Elect Trump held a press conference and announced in a speech that he was conceding the election. An excerpt of his statement is contained below:
Sara Draper, beautiful girl, real looker, shared a post that she made after I won. She said in this post, this gorgeous girl, said that she was going to move to Canada to escape my presidency. Let me read some of this to you: “I am in mourning. I no longer feel comfortable calling this country home.”
This is shocking to me. I knew my election would provoke emotional reactions from minorities like the latinos, the muslims, and the blacks, but I never thought – and I tell you this honestly – I never thought it would affect beautiful rich white people like Sara. This saddens me deeply.
I’m sorry I have to do this to all of my wonderful supporters, but I can’t make America great again if I’m driving valuable citizens like Sara away. In the wake of my discovery of this Facebook post, I can no longer accept my position as the President of the United States and concede the election to Secretary Hillary Clinton.
Many political analysts have expressed a great deal of confusion in response to Trump’s decision. “He obviously has less understanding of the US political system than we thought he did,” said Jeffrey Tulis, a professor of government at the University of Texas at Austin. He explained that in this situation the presidency would simply transfer to Mike Pence, not to Clinton.
For her part, Draper said that Trump’s concession represented a stunning vindication for the efforts of slacktivists around the world.“From climate change, to drone bombing, to fluoride in our drinking water, this victory really goes to show that there is no injustice that a strongly worded Facebook post can not bring to an end,” she explained.