Opinion

This isn’t the editorial we planned on writing

This is not a nation united.

Oddly, it seldom has been. Racial divides, gender divides, highly educated versus highly agitated, old-young, rich-poor, north-south, urban-rural, coastal-heartland. If those are not enough, we create them: Coke-Pepsi, Cougs-Dawgs, Stihl-Husqvarna, Tundra-F-150, Lab-Siamese.

And yet the nation persists.

What an understatement. We dominate the world militarily, culturally and economically.

That’s what makes each presidential election feel so apocalyptic: Everyone shoots for the guy on top, and we’re the target.

Is our next leader up to it? It’s almost certain they are up to something, but will it be the right combination of intelligence, resolve, patience, integrity and maturity? Holding as much power as the president does, will he use it wisely?

Half the nation’s voters are ecstatic today, believing Donald Trump will do just that. Half believe a horrible mistake has been made.

Asking us to work together the next four years seems incredibly naive. Why should the winners bother? Why should the losers swallow their principles? What’s in that for either of them?

Well, just maybe the preservation of a way of life where by world standards even the poor are rich.

This isn’t what we expected to be writing today. All the smart folks said Hillary Clinton was set to win this. We were going to write farewell to Trump.

Well, obviously, a different story is being written today.

Like George W. Bush in the first six years of his presidency after 9/11, Trump will start with a Republican Congress. Theoretically, that would mean they will all move in lockstep. But given the campaign animosity of many in his own party toward Trump — and vice versa — that seems unlikely. We'll soon find out whether Trump can or will do all those things his supporters are hoping for, and Clinton’s voters fear.

Trump doesn’t have much of a mandate, and may even have fewer popular votes than Clinton. Will that temper his rhetoric or inflame it, driving him to squash his critics?

If nothing else, this election should stop us from ever trying to predict the future again, having been wrong so often about the power of Trump’s charisma.

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