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For your security, we've sent a confirmation email to the address you entered. Click the link to confirm your subscription and begin receiving our newsletters. If you don't get the confirmation within 10 minutes, please check your spam folder. And so they drank. Buttons that the Democrats Abroad had handed out featuring the name Hillary in Chinese characters and the Hong Kong skyline superimposed within Clintons forward-pointing H logo were forgotten on wooden tabletops beneath the stems of mimosa glasses. The atmosphere in the room was one of vivid dissociation, as if everything that had just happened was at once real and hysterically unreal. Folks were furi
ously sketching in the margins of the electoral-college maps that had been distributed around the room, trying to work out the math that would lead to a Clinton victory. Bankers checked on the Dow, which was in free fall.
In a corner, one woman stared down at her phone, bl
inking back tears.
Buttons in support of Hillary Clinton, 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, sit at an election-watch party organized by Democrats Abroad in Hong Kong on Nov. 9, 2016 Bloomberg/Getty Images Solimini says hes a Republican at heart I dont want to pay taxes, I dont want the government to spend money wastefully but that nearly three decades of living overseas had brought the American shift [towards] racism, ignorance, and violence into sharp relief. I dont apologize for being an American, but it gets tougher to defend it, he says. Everybody that I work with has been over at my desk in the last six months, asking how? Why? And I just dont know. By 1 p.m. local time, Trump had 244 electoral-college votes; Clinton trailed with 209. During a commercial break, conversation at one table turned to the massive anti-China demonstration in Hong Kong three nights earlier, prompted by Beijings decision to intervene in the political fate of two local legislators who support Hong Kongs independence from China. Since the British returned Hong Kong to China in 1997 as a semiautonomous territory, Hong Kong has been the only Chinese city with even a facsimile of democracy. In recent years its people have taken to the streets to clamor for more. They are trapped between the democratic institutions bequeathed to them by British rule a legislature, freedoms of speech and press and Beijings ultimate sovereignty. Those who scoff at the pro-democracy activists have pointed to the U.S. election as a litmus test of Western democracys merits, or rather its lack of them.
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The Chinese state media has had a particularly gleeful time during the U.S. election. An Oct. 8 editorial in the Global Times, a mouthpiece for the Communist leadership, crowed at the chaos that was burgeoning across the Pacific. All this weirdness not only clearly shows the predicament of the U.S. political establishment, it read, it also points straight at the corrupt practices of the U.S. political system.
I guarantee you that T
rump hopes he loses, one man in the Democrats barroom said, moments after Clinton took Nevada, bringing her to 215 electoral-college votes still trailing Trump. Across the table, Solimini was speaking into his iPhone. Youve reached
the voice mail of Anthony Solimini, he said. Ive officially retired from the human race.
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