As the nation awoke to news of the new president-elect on Wednesday, many media commentators reacted with horror.
Below are a selection of the most striking reactions to his victory.
The election of Donald Trump to the Presidency is nothing less than a tragedy for the American republic, a tragedy for the Constitution, and a triumph for the forces, at home and abroad, of nativism, authoritarianism, misogyny, and racism. Trump’s shocking victory, his ascension to the Presidency, is a sickening event in the history of the United States and liberal democracy… It is impossible to react to this moment with anything less than revulsion and profound anxiety.
That the electorate has, in its plurality, decided to live in Trump’s world of vanity, hate, arrogance, untruth, and recklessness, his disdain for democratic norms, is a fact that will lead, inevitably, to all manner of national decline and suffering.
Never in my lifetime has the United States seen a period of darkness like the one that lies ahead of us.
Trump will shake the Republic to its foundations. And the Republicans will shake it with him. If there is a central point I tried to drive home, it is that Trumpism grows out of a decades-long trend toward authoritarianism as the dominant tendency of Republican politics.
There is danger in Trump. He’s a man with authoritarian impulses, a conspiracy theorist’s bent, and a taste for vengeance. He has an alarming temperament, little impulse control, and less decency. He has a demagogue’s instinct for finding enemies and a bully’s instinct for finding their weaknesses. He is uninterested in policy, unrestrained by shame, and unbound by norms. He surrounds himself with sycophants and enablers, and he believes both the facts and the falsehoods he finds congenial.
Now we see how strong the American system really is.
This year’s election was a referendum on multiracial liberal democracy. Liberal democracy lost... Instead of multiracial liberal democracy, the United States has chosen white authoritarian populism.
America has now jumped off a constitutional cliff. It will never be the same country again. Like Brexit, this changes the core nature of this country permanently... This is now Trump’s America. He controls everything from here on forward.
A country designed to resist tyranny has now embraced it. A constitution designed to prevent democracy taking over everything has now succumbed to it. A country once defined by self-government has openly, clearly, enthusiastically delivered its fate into the hands of one man to do as he sees fit. After 240 years, an idea that once inspired the world has finally repealed itself. We the people did it.
Additionally, CEOs at more than 1,100 major U.S. Companies called on Trump to “restore faith in our vital economic and government institutions” in light of his stated positions on trade and regulation of banks and industry.
With signatories including Coca-Cola, Boeing, Pfizer and Caterpillar, the executives warn that business cannot thrive “in a country that is divided and distrustful,” the Financial Times reported.
And The New York Times’ Paul Krugman warned of the dire global consequences of Trump’s election in an opinion piece, titled The Economic Fallout. “So we are very probably looking at a global recession, with no end in sight,” he wrote.