Donald Trump has been elected President of the United States of America.
In and of itself that statement still seems ludicrous - like something from an episode of the Simpsons. However, it is the manner of his victory and the campaign that propelled him to it which is the issue.
This was no ordinary "vote for change." By and large we know what that looks and feels like. The tired government, perhaps too long in power. A restless electorate that is presented with something or someone that looks and sounds sufficiently different to suggest that the country itself may look different given time. Not hugely different, but enough so to feel that things have changed.
Donald Trump did not run that campaign.
This was a campaign that was run on fear and a longing for an America that simply does not exist anymore. This is a candidate that is now beholden to a movement which in its heart doesn't just resent the politics of old, but fears "the Other." A movement that is expecting its leader to act in a way that would consign decades of progress to the scrapheap.
The wall. The Muslim ban. The deportation orders. The appointment of a special prosecutor to bring "justice" to a political opponent. The removal of health care to millions of people.
This is a movement which openly and aggressively attacks journalism, distorts facts and celebrates misinformation, ignoring that informed engagement is the oxygen that sustains a healthy, functioning democracy.
And perhaps most troubling, this is a movement which at best turned a blind eye to racism and misogyny but in reality barely concealed its admiration for the actions and views of the man who stoked its fears, gave them a name (women, feminists, elites, Latinos, immigrants, Muslims, etc.) and who now finds himself the President of all Americans.
The United States can no longer claim to be the shining city upon the hill.
In the place of that city stands a country whose politics is infused with anger and mistrust. What began as partisanship morphed into unreasoned "hyper partisanship" and continued to spiral towards what we see today.
Sadly, this is nothing new. We heard this story in the run-up to the Brexit vote. We see it being played out as the world struggles to respond to refugee crises and economic dislocation. There are lessons to learn, but we need people prepared to do so.
In Canada we have a Conservative Party that is looking to reimagine itself. What will that look like? When the candidates aspiring to lead that party look south will they see a situation to be avoided or an approach to be emulated?
One candidate - Kellie Leitch - is making identify politics a major part of her campaign. We also see this rearing its head in Quebec with a worrying degree of regularity.
Is there a danger of that inevitable lag between developments in U.S. politics and developments in Canada playing out? Could this happen here?
Yes, it could.
The greatest lesson from last night was the reminder that history repeats itself. And it does so most often when people feel lost, left behind, angry and scared. These feelings have a powerful effect on the human condition, and history tells us that when left unchecked they can take us some place dark and potentially tragic.
History repeated itself last night. Make no mistake - the winning candidate waged a successful campaign that was rooted in fear and tinged with racism, intolerance and the belief that might and aggression are things to be admired and used openly.
This is where things stand today, but where the U.S. goes next isn't about Donald Trump. It is about everyone else.
Liberal democracy must be seen as more than just holding elections and casting a vote. It doesn't happen every few years. It happens every day through engagement and holding elected officials to account.
Accepting this responsibility is the challenge now facing Americans. Heeding the lessons of this campaign is the challenge facing all of us.