USA. Of the twelve Republican candidates ahead of this
fall's presidential election, which was included when the
primary election began in February, seven withdrew from the
first month already. Quite immediately, Donald Trump emerged
as the leading candidate, even though he was contentious
even within the party. In May, it was clear that Trump won
In the Democratic primary elections, Bernie Sanders
became a more difficult contender for the favorite-tipped
Hillary Clinton than many expected. According to
countryaah, the 74-year-old
professional politician, above all, attracted young voters.
It was only when all the primary elections were held in June
that he put down his campaign and expressed his support for
Clinton in the election.
Ahead of the July party convention, Republicans appointed
Indiana Governor Mike Pence as vice presidential candidate,
while Democrats appointed Virginia Senator Tim Kaine. During
the fall, most polls pointed to Clinton's victory in the
Nov. 8 election, despite the disclosure that she, as
Secretary of State, used a private mail server, in violation
of the rules, as well as allegations of too close ties with
the financial elite on Wall Street.
At the same time, several leading Republicans sharply
distanced themselves from Trump, who appeared to be
incalculable, ignorant and rude, and who made racist, sexist
and false statements. Among a number of controversies were
verbal attacks on a Muslim man whose son fell into the U.S.
Army, a disastrous death threat to Clinton, hint that the
United States would not live up to its commitments within
NATO, and allegations that Obama and Clinton founded the
terrorist state Islamic State (IS).
In the Nov. 9 election, surprisingly, Trump won with 306
electoral votes against Clinton for 232. However, she
received just over 2.5 million more votes. In the
contemporary congressional elections, Republicans retained
their majority even though they backed slightly in both
Trump continued to cheer for his supporters and disgust
among detractors, not least through his nominations for top
posts where many belonged to the financial elite or were
generals but lacked political experience.
After the election, intelligence agencies reported that
the Russian Federation was actively working for a victory
for Trump, including through hacker attacks against the
Democrats. Trump dismissed the information, but President
Obama expelled 35 Russian diplomats just before New Year and
imposed some sanctions in protest of the data breach.
The Supreme Court was a judge short almost all year. When
Judge Antonin Scalia died suddenly in February, the
possibility was opened that the balance of power in the
court would tip over from the favor of the Conservatives to
the Liberals. But the Republican-dominated Senate refused to
even discuss the nominee presented by President Barack
Obama. As a result, Scalia's place remained vacant
throughout the year and the court could not decide questions
where there was an even weight between the eight judges.
When Obama went to Cuba in March, it was the first time
since 1928 that an American president visited the country.
In May, he visited Hiroshima in Japan, becoming the first US
president at the site of the first nuclear bomb 71 years
In June, 49 people were killed when a man opened fire at
a gay club in Orlando, Florida in what was described as the
worst mass shooting in US history. The perpetrator who was
shot dead himself had sworn allegiance to the terrorism IS
just before the act.
The debate over disproportionate police violence against
African Americans gained new fuel after two almost
simultaneous incidents in July where one man was shot dead
in Louisiana and one in Minnesota. Police officers'
vulnerable position came into focus when a black war veteran
the day after the Minnesota shooting killed five police
officers in Texas, and just over a week after that, a black
Navy veteran shot dead three police officers in Louisiana.
A disputed law was passed which meant that relatives of
victims of the September 11 attacks in 2001 were given the
opportunity to sue Saudi Arabia, from where 15 of the 19
aircraft came. Obama tried to stop the law, which he claimed
created a dangerous precedent, but he was voted down by
Congress. It was Obama's twelfth veto and the first to be
Resistance to the construction of an oil pipeline in
North Dakota grew into the largest protest action among
Indigenous people in the United States in modern times.
Residents of the Sioux Reserve Standing Rock set up a
protest camp in April and eventually joined other indigenous
people as well as environmental and activist groups. The
protesters claimed that the management threatened a water
source and invaded places sacred to the Sioux people. In
September, the protests turned into violent clashes with
police using tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons. In
December, a federal government stopped building. Many
cheered while others thought the stop was temporary.