Tens of millions of people in America have elected an authoritarian with no political experience for president, denying Hillary Clinton a historic election in a stunning victory that has defied polls and popular sense. Donald Trump is now the president-elect of the United States, and the implications of this fact are largely unknown.
What we do know about Donald Trump is alarming. He has praised dictators for their authoritarian actions. He has promised to torture enemies of the state, and return to “law and order” at home — a promise based on lies he has continually repeated about crime rates in the US. He has promised to repeal a public health law, the Affordable Care Act, which has expanded health care to millions of uninsured people. He rejects the science of climate change, which is a planetary threat that affects not just Americans but everyone on Earth. He has distinguished himself not in expertise but in ignorance about the issues that the US president will be challenged to resolve.
These are just a few of the things Mr. Trump has promised in the course of the election. He has also proven himself to be an unprecedented master of new media tools, including Twitter, which he has used to relentlessly denigrate his opponents and anyone who has made him feel insecure. He has invited conspiracy theorists into his inner circle at a time when hoaxes saturate the public consciousness on Facebook. He has boasted of sexual assault, stoked nationalist fears, and incited violence. The list goes on.
The Verge did not endorse any candidate for president in this election. But it is clear that president-elect Trump poses a number of highly unusual threats to American democracy, to the well-being of its citizens, to the health of the entire planet, and areas we have not yet begun to understand. This has not been a normal presidential campaign, and this is not a normal president.
We have entered a dark timeline, but it is not the end for anyone who hopes for a better, more inclusive, more prosperous future. It is only the beginning, and we’ve got work to do.