None of what follows withdraws or softens my verdict on the "electoral disaster," but:
* I am surprised by how many people will, in one breath, note that Trump is an inveterate liar (which he is), and, in the next breath, lament all the awful things he has said he would do. But most of those, I suspect, were lies too. Again, putting aside the issue about his mental disturbance (which is the really serious and alarming issue in all this), he's a lifelong New Yorker, not a "movement conservative." While Trump isn't going to turn out to be a liberal, I will be astonished if he turns out to be Paul Ryan. His two closest "advisers" are his basically liberal, cosmopolitan daughter, Ivanka, and her husband, Jared Kushner, a lifelong Jewish Democrat, and also a product of the New York metro area his whole life. (This is one reason why Trump has never conformed to the ugly Mike Pence line on gay and transgender people.) The Republican Party has been taken over from the inside, but it hasn't yet figured out for what ends. Nor have we. (See this NYT piece, which gives a good representation of his differing views at different times.)
*Trump lost the popular vote nationally. That is not quite as meaningful as it seems: because of the electoral college system, campaigns devote divergent efforts to rallying the vote accordingly, so we have no way of knowing what the outcome would have been in a pure popular vote system. But that is also irrelevant: the simple fact is that while nearly sixty million people voted for Trump, a couple hundred thousand more voted for Clinton.
*The crucial fact of the election appears to be low voter turnout among Democrats. This diagram makes it vivid. (Even Latinos did not surge to the polls, despite Trump's provocations: voter suppression laws passed by Republicans probably played some role, but I fear that it may just be that most Latinos, like most voters, weren't really paying that much attention.) Clinton should have chosen an African-American or Latino running mate. Indeed, she should have stepped aside for Bernie Sanders, who would have captured many of the white voters who went for Trump. Clinton's narcissism, though not rising to the level of psychological disorder as with Trump, played a mighty role in this catastrophe. In any case, what the relatively low turnout means is that the Democrats, if they nominate more competitive candidates, can easily reverse things (assuming there are future elections).
*Lawyers (and judges) are going to be crucial in terms of what happens the next couple of years, since we can predict with certainty that Trump will violate legal and constitutional norms, as he has his entire business career. When Trump collides with a judicial edict we will have the first real test of the stability of the institutions of this alleged democracy.
*My own expectations are quite low. If he does not cause massive human carnage with the use of nuclear weapons, we will have done well. Our only hope on that score is that Ivanka and Jared, and Senator Sessions, and Rudy Giuliani, and the military professionals manage to reign him in. Bear in mind, of course, that it was the "best and brightest" in the Kennedy Administration who almost ended civilization during the Cuban missile crisis with their reckless provocations. Donald Trump and his crew probably qualify as the "worst and the dumbest," but maybe Nixon's old "madman theory"--this time with a real one!--will dissuade potential provocateurs on the other side.
I thank the many readers who have written in the wake of this disasster, and was gratified by the enormous readership yesterday, nearly 50% higher than a normal weekday. I hope these comments and links are of some value to some of you, even though they can hardly count as reassuring.