Donald John Trump, a racist and sexist obsessive liar, pathological narcissist and vicious bully, early Wednesday was elected the 45th President of the United States.
But he struggled to win barely one-third of the vote in California.
Although Trump won an astonishing and appalling victory that confounded every pollster, pro and political journalist in America, California triumphed by earning anew its iconic designation as the Great Exception.
While the ferret-headed, orange-stained demon rallied millions of resentful whites railing about “taking our country back,” Californians voted in huge numbers for policies and values that challenge and reject the fear and hatred mouthed by Trump – and that embrace and embody the diversity of what America is becoming.
He vs. We: Trump blood libeled minorities and immigrants while espousing disgusting attitudes about women; California for the first time elected an African-American woman to represent us in the U.S. Senate – in a campaign that matched her against a Latina congresswoman who is the daughter of Mexican immigrants — in a state where citizens strongly favor a path to citizenship for undocumented workers.
Trump licked the boots of NRA leaders, called for more and more guns, and even suggested Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton should be shot; California voters with Proposition 63 overwhelmingly approved some of the toughest gun control measures in the country, determined to stop the insanity of violence abetted by the easy availability of weapons and ammunition made for war.
Trump called for massive tax cuts for the wealthy, most of all for himself, so that the huge and relentlessly growing gap between the richest and the rest of us can increase further; Californians in a landslide vote passed Proposition 55, imposing higher taxes on those best able to pay them, in the name of funding public schools and health care for the poor, the sick and the elderly.
Trump said women should be “punished” for having an abortion; California long has had the strongest pro-choice constitutional and legal guarantees in the nation, going back to 1967, when Gov. Ronald Reagan signed the Therapeutic Abortion Act.
Trump personifies a brutish, all-against-all view of a rapaciously capitalistic society; Californian voters across the state looked favorably on hundreds of fiscal measures for education, communitarian expressions that acknowledge we’re all in this together.
Boy did we blow it: We were wrong, completely wrong, about this election, for one basic reason: we simply did not believe so many white, non-urban Americans were capable of electing someone who a large majority of voters described as unfit to be president.
Trump will take office with fellow Republicans in control of both houses of Congress and, potentially, the U.S. Supreme Court, as Democrats find themselves in the weakest political position in memory.
World markets already are plunging and roiling with panic that a New York real estate thug and reality TV charlatan, who exhibits not a whit of awareness that he doesn’t know what he doesn’t know.
That’s not to mention his authoritarianism, his virulent nationalism, his ignorance of the Constitution, his climate change denial, his hatred of a free press, his bromance with Vladimir Putin, disdain for U.S. military alliances, and the unhinged personal volatility he brings to his authority over the world’s largest nuclear arsenal.
His presidency is a nightmarish prospect that fills us with dread, regardless of our good fortune of living in California.