The fate of the United States now rests largely in the hands of a man who has insulted women, Muslims, Hispanics, the physically disabled, and every opponent, real or imaginary, who has crossed his path.
With full Republican majorities in both Senate and House, President Donald Trump will have the power to begin reshaping his own nation, and its relationships with Canada and the world beyond.
We have much to worry about. With 70 per cent of our exports heading south, a more protectionist United States may seriously damage the Canadian economy.
Beyond our own narrow interests, we also have to worry for our American neighbours. The next two to four years are likely to be turbulent. At the very least, we don’t really know what to expect. Will Trump actually build a wall? Will he pursue prosecution and even a prison term for Hillary Clinton? Will he tear up alliances that have lasted since the Second World War? Will he, easily goaded, fling the United States into new conflicts?
As Canadians, how should we react to this unprecedented American election?
The only way we can – we should hold true to our core values. Not values that are narrowly Canadian, but which are universal: Respect for justice, compassion for the downtrodden, holding hope as better than fear.
We will need to hold our own leaders to account. They may need to stand up to Trump’s America, no easy thing to do.
Finally, we should absorb the lesson of Trump: it can happen here. Canada is no more immune to demagogues, fear, and hate than America and the United Kingdom (Brexit).
We must be on our guard not to follow others down this uncertain path.