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EDITORIAL: Now what?

An extreme force of change has come to America

Donald Trump speaks at a Trump rally at Sanford Orlando International Airport on Oct. 25, 2016 in Sanford, Fla. (Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel/TNS)

Mr. President,

We congratulate you on your victory. Your movement – no matter how divisive and troubling – and improbable victory is now an unexpected chapter of American history.

You fought against every establishment Republican and Democrat with a wave of a populist resentment.

Mr. President, you have upended and defeated the Washington machine. You stood squarely and looked your critics dead in eyes. You were not intimidated. You were not moved when someone called you a bigot, or a xenophobe.

We question your fitness to be president. We question your ability to make sound, rational decisions. We don’t believe American’s lives will be better after four years with you as president.

What we do not discredit is your resolve and desire to win. We salute you, even if we disagree with you throughout your tenure as president.

We must now face facts: You, Donald Trump, real estate magnate, TV star, hell raiser, are our 45th President of the United States of America. We must accept that the electoral process we hold so dear did not fail us.

You have sent a powerful message to the rest of the world about what democracy looks like.

Excuse us now, Mr. President, if we do not believe you will uphold the integrity of that democracy.

To be frank, sir, we are disappointed that the American people stood on the side of paranoia and elected you as the leader of an exponentially diverse free world. Your meandering campaign and its divisive rhetoric played on the worst fears of people.

You began your political career pumping a racist lie, which you later recanted when it was politically expedient. We fear what your election means for the phrase “with liberty and justice for all.”

You have helped reawaken the sneering face of an ugly America that we tried so desperately to bury. Our best hope now is that your campaign persona was just an act aiding your ascent to the office of president. We hope – nay, we demand – that you be a president who represents all of the American people.

Make America Great, Again? We will hold you accountable every step of the way to make sure that America includes all of us.

It will be us, the journalists you hold in such low regard, who will be reporting every move you make. We won’t be bullied or intimidated by you.

Mr. President, your electoral win is one that we will write about for the remainder of human history. Whether that story is a hero’s tale or a Shakespearian tragedy is up to you.