Shock and Revulsion. Joy and jubilation.

Two clashing views of a nation irreconcilably divided, one segment of the population mourning for itself, the other experiencing the realization of a moment that could not have been predicted just months ago.

This was the picture voters woke up to last week—a wholesale political makeover that could just as quickly reverse itself if adjustments are not made or signal the launching of an era of uneasy authoritarian rule for years to come.

What is not in doubt is the decisive shellacking the Democrats took which exposes serious weaknesses in the candidates they are offering up, their perceptions of what is of greatest concern to millions of voters, the failing campaign strategies to win their votes and the fatally erroneous assumptions about Donald Trump’s bizarre candidacy.

None can predict the changes ahead but no intelligent observer should ignore the message the voters sent in this tumultuous election.

Though political scientists and historians will be debating for years what caused this dramatic upheaval, figuring out how to lower the anxiety levels and the genuine fears of numerous groups Trump offended and maligned will be more problematical.

While the Republic survives, in what shape it will be in over the next four years and beyond is anybody’s guess.

To underestimate the potency of Trump’s appeal would be a mistake. However to allow him and the team he is assembling to run roughshod over the fundamental precepts and laws that define us could be disastrous.

Much like the original colonists who sought liberation from their oppressors, white working class men and women angered and diminished by events outside of their control were determined to take back their government regardless of the consequences.

They were saying with an unmistakably clear voice that both Democrats and Republicans apparently did not hear, “we do not trust you!”

The early warning signs of widespread discontent could be found in the birth of what was at first a nascent loosely organized movement by the Tea Party renegades, staunch religious fundamentalists, radical right-wingers and fellow conservatives determined to wrest control of Congress and the GOP.

The only thing missing was a leader.

In the absence of anyone acceptable and to the profound dismay of the GOP leadership, along came Trump –a brash, fearless, crude, canny reality-whiz with a talent for self-promotion, a go-for-the-jugular disposition and a misleading but narcotic message that he cared about “forgotten citizens.”

His lack of any political resume turned out to be a significant advantage that worked against his highly accomplished and much better qualified opponent.

Trump is now the president-elect of a nation, depending upon where you live, reeling in disbelief or rejoicing in the elevation of someone that has promised to “drain the swamp.”

The swamp is not native to one party but how he refills it will be an intriguing question already causing disarray and backstage stabbing by those eager to serve someone notorious for firing employees.

While the transition has been orderly and seamless with President Obama passing the torch to his successor with what must have felt like uncomfortable etiquette, it is a much different story in the streets where violent protests are breaking out in many cities.

Given the super-charged nature of the race—easily the ugliest in modern times—this could have been anticipated with a strong likelihood that a Clinton victory might have triggered the same reactions.

It matters little to those taking power that Hillary Clinton received more popular votes—possibly in the millions after all are counted—repeating the pyrrhic victory Al Gore experienced in the 2000 race against George W. Bush.

As Barbara Boxer, the retiring California Senator pointed out, the presidential election is “the only one we have where the person who wins the most votes can be a loser,”

As her valedictory she has introduced a bill to abolish the Electoral College, calling it antiquated and obsolescent. Many would agree except those in the large swath of red states that now color America’s political map from coast to coast where majority of rural voters who pushed the lever for Trump live.

After a crushing defeat it is the big city urban voters who now feel disenfranchised and will be trying to find a way back from the wilderness. Many come from an America they don’t think the new president represents.

Trump’s greatest challenge if he sees it that way will be to patch up the deep wounds that were inflicted in his quixotic and masterful quest. Trump proved he could win. Now he must show he can govern.