My first presidential election was 1980, when Ronald Reagan unseated Jimmy Carter. Mrs. G. and I were students at a very liberal college, and we and all of our friends were devastated.
The 2000 election was, if anything, worse. President Bush the younger came into office by one vote, and that voter later concluded she had voted wrongly.
On this morning after election day, this one feels like an even harder kick in the gut. The campaign promises made by Donald Trump are far worse than anything his predecessors proposed. On the other hand, the worst are so un-American, un-Constitutional, or even physically impossible, that they will not actually happen. And, as he has made clear many times, he often says things he does not mean and will later deny having said.
Moreover, unlike Ronald Reagan, or George W. Bush, or even the Tea Party, there are no other Trumpian legislators. He will have to rely on regular Republican politicians to govern. This should have a moderating influence, though they will likely enact many things I disagree with.
Still, the Trump campaign has unleashed a white nationalist layer of Americans who normally do not vote or proclaim their positions in public. I do fear that they will feel emboldened to act on their sense of entitlement in dangerous ways.