Have half of the American population become xenophobic, misogynistic haters overnight? Of course they haven’t. The demographic who voted for Trump are, like any other political demographic, a mixture of many different views and beliefs.
There are the die-hard Republicans who would vote for anyone or anything, as long as it wore Republican colours.
There are those who believe in Trump’s vision, as he set it out.
Those who believed that Clinton would take away their guns.
Those who have had a pretty raw deal over the past however many years, and think that Trump holds out their best hope.
And there are those, who I believe number many millions, who wanted to give the establishment a damn good kicking, and perhaps did not care how much damage they did in achieving it.
They are the ones who think that everything is run by the rich; the elite, no matter what their political colours, and that the system needs to be torn down and built afresh.
‘Drain the swamp!’ – how that must have resonated with them.
Had the Democrats selected Bernie Sanders as their candidate, and the Republicans selected a more moderate candidate as theirs, then I suspect we would have seen many of those who voted for Trump, supporting Sanders – solely because he would be seen as the anti-establishment candidate.
And the Democrats had another huge disadvantage, in that they were the presidential incumbents, and therefore the obvious targets for this anger.
Clearly, the political class, most commentators, and probably a huge chunk of the population have been unaware of this mood, this anger, although it must have been widespread, and for a long while.
And perhaps the Brexit vote has, in some ways, given it a legitimacy, given people permission, almost, to express their feelings. Even made them realise their power. Trump has been very keen to use Brexit as an example, aided by Farage’s visit.
And Brexit was a phenomenon strikingly similar to Trump’s victory, in that it caught the pollsters, commentators and political classes by surprise, and for many voters was an outpouring of anger against the political status quo, the elite.
Where we go from here, I don’t think anyone yet knows. In the UK, it seems that the political class have not yet realised that there is going to have to be, at some point in the future, some serious discussions about how the electorate are given a genuine say in how things are run. The same conversation will have to happen in the US.
Of course, the electorates of other countries will be watching all of this with great interest.
It could get quite exciting.