Donald Trump pulled it off. He will be the 45th president of the United States.

Hillary Clinton had everything going for her or so it seemed—plenty of money, strong organization, a blue-chip veteran staff, a reasonably united Party, decades of campaign experience and the support of a popular president.

It was not enough.

Trump had something that she lacked and it made all the difference. He knew how to tap into the feelings of millions of voters fed up with politics as usual and determined to bring down the old order that she epitomized.

He succeeded not because of a well thought out plan as much as an impulse-driven strategy that took advantage of every opportunity afforded. And it fed off of the immense social media coverage that no candidate in modern times has ever received.

Bernie Sanders who Clinton vanquished in the primaries sensed the seething anger ready to explode across the nation, building a formidable coalition on the Left and urging revolution against the ruling class of which he was, just as Clinton, a part.

Trump accomplished it as only one with the untainted credentials of a rank yet crafty outsider could do unafraid of taking on the governing elite who he correctly pegged as the chief source of the average middle-class worker’s misery.

That was evident as voters flocked to Trump in droves across the industrial mid-western states shattering the so-called “blue wall” which Democrats had thought practically impenetrable.

The underlying message of the entire campaign was summed up quite artfully in one of the debates when in response to Clinton’s attack on his failure to pay taxes, Trump snapped, “If you had changed the law when you were in the Senate I would not have been able to do so.”

The inference was inescapable: If as a two-term Senator she could not bring about needed changes, how could she be trusted to do so as the nation’s leader?

The trust issue was than conflated repeatedly to bring her judgment into question especially as it pertained to the handling of her personal email server culminating in the inexcusable, ultimately baseless and patently unethical intervention by the FBI in the closing days of the campaign.

It may never be known how much this affected the final outcome if it did at all.

The magnitude of Trump’s victory which flipped many of the states that President Obama had carried from blue to red and cut across all age, gender, ethnic and color lines suggests that Trump’s appeal was vastly underestimated from the beginning.

I count myself among those who apparently viewed his extraordinary rise through a faulty set of lenses. Along with many others, my psychological compass and I suspect much of the nation’s has been thrown out of whack by this epic battle.

Addressing the adoring throngs at the victory celebration in New York City (a state which Clinton won handily) Trump offered reassuring words that he intended to represent all Americans of a very troubled and bitterly divided nation.

That pledge will be tested during his first days in office when he has said he will repeal many of the Executive Orders of the current White House occupant.

The Affordable Healthcare Act known as Obama Care is targeted for repeal and a giant battle looms over future appointments to the Supreme Court

Trump says he wants to be a transformational president but if that is predicated on undoing many of the things that Obama views as paramount to his own transformational legacy, the road ahead could make the last six years look like a cakewalk.

With all branches of government now under one-party control the onus to deliver falls squarely on Trump who will have to get cooperation from the same powerful individuals he has spent the last eighteen months denigrating.

The Republic will surely survive as it has before during periods of great ferment though it has left scars that will be harder to heal.

Much injury has already been done and it will require exceptional restraint by the many he has seriously offended as well as by those newly empowered who will see Trump’s triumph as a license to do as they please.

Trump ‘s first task to mediate and end the conflicts which he has done much to create. If he fails at that the changes that he promises will come at a very high cost which the nation may not be prepared to pay.

Part of that challenging task should be the restoration of fairness, civility and human decency which are a bedrock of our democracy.

Trump said just before the election returns began rolling in that if he lost, he would consider it “the biggest waste of time” in his life. Now that he has won this resounding victory we must hope that his time in office will be well spent in behalf of all Americans and not only those who are rejoicing today as they are entitled to do.

This will require a governing philosophy far different than the unusually divisive one which propelled him to this lofty calling which clearly struck a chord with so many of our fellow citizens who feel left behind and are demanding change.

Give credit to both sides that we have so far managed a peaceful and orderly transition as we have for over 240 years. But that’s the easier part.

The nation and the world will now be watching intently while holding its breath to see how this new, bold, untested leader will exercise the great trust that has been bestowed upon him.

(This post has been updated.)