While the news coming out of Washington these days has yet to have a particularly soothing effect in the aftermath of a tumultuous election, a trip to one of America’s most fabled cities can be reinvigorating.

That would be Philadelphia, in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the cradle of democracy at the nation’s birth and its temporary capital toward the end of the Revolutionary War (New York City was the first capital).

Last week my wife and I visited the storied city which is in the midst of a construction boom much like San Francisco’s and Los Angeles’s with towering office buildings, ritzy condo developments and new hotels popping up everywhere.

William Penn, its founder in 1682 and Ben Franklin, the printer turned diplomat who had a hand in writing the Constitution and Declaration of Independence, and whose colossal statues adorn many public spaces, would be very impressed.

More recently, the nation’s seventh-most populous mega-center with 450-year-old cobble stone streets still travelled by horse-and-buggies mindless of tourists with weak bladders, sits amidst one of the most hotly contested battleground states in the recent presidential election.

Along with two others, the state (which Trump carried) is conducting a vote recount—though a largely meaningless exercise– because of a challenge by the Green Party candidate who many could not name. For the record, she is Jill Stein.

What is more relevant are the serious fault lines that have bubbled to the surface which have no exact historical antecedent in past presidential elections but are now easily recognizable.

A badly fractured electorate whose future will be played out in the changes now coming to Washington is highly visible in Philadelphia, “City of Brotherly Love.”

It can be seen in the many shuttered homes and small businesses with “for sale” signs that represent older Philadelphia with roots going back centuries that bound the landed gentry with the emerging middle class.

Rising just blocks away are shiny skyscrapers next to tony restaurants and prospering commercial establishments that represent New Philadelphia.

Just as California suffered a loss of numerous manufacturing companies and jobs which have yet to be re-filled in the post-internet economy, so did Pennsylvania.

Just as California absorbed much of the blow through its thriving tourism industry, so did Philadelphians with 67 National Historic Landmarks that accounts for billions in tourist dollars.

But that is where the similarities end.

It was taken for granted that the Keystone State with diversity comparable to California’s and has voted Democratic for the past 24 years would overcome Republican majorities in its western region. It turned out otherwise and this was a major factor in Hillary Clinton’s defeat.

California, arguably the most diverse of the 50 states with a population three times that of Pennsylvania’s and solidly Democratic was once again assigned a cameo role in the nation’s most important election.

Although lacking a “rust belt” which produced the millions of economically disadvantaged voters that sent Trump to the White House, in California the clash of cultures, ethnic differences and geographical disparities separating the rural and urban populaces are even more pronounced.

What may confound political scientists and historians looking back at this epochal moment will be trying to understand how the rich diversity that is among our greatest attributes could be the element that did most to tear the nation apart.

Gazing on a dramatically altered political landscape, we may want to mull over one of Franklin’s frequently prescient observations that will once again be tested:

All human situations have their inconveniences. We feel those of the present but neither see nor feel those of the future; and hence we often make troublesome changes without amendment, and frequently for the worse,” he declared.

Franklin was a clear-eyed realist living in a less complicated world when creating a workable government was foremost on the founders’ minds and realized that mistakes will be made.

If the incoming president and a querulous Congress do not get their act together shortly after Inaugural Day his prophesy could once again come true. Right now the odds of that happening are not good.