It is a tragedy for the United States: an American Brexit moment but one that is so much worse for the world.

It’s such a long way from the first African-American president, a man of decency, vision and generosity, to an authoritarian racist, misogynist.  

It is victory for fascism. Yes, it is fascism when you target specific minorities. It is fascism when you threaten to throw your opponent in jail. It is fascism when you say you would accept the result of the election only if you won. It is fascism when you say you will ban an entire religion from your country. It is fascism when you threaten to sue newspapers who oppose you. It is fascism when you target a judge based on his ethnicity because he disagrees with you.

There are echoes of the past here when someone promised to make Germany great again on the backs of minorities.

This stunning result will see a loss of civil liberties, a loss for women, a loss for minorities.  White supremacists see Trump as a saviour. He is anti-Muslim, he is anti-Mexican and pro-white. 

And his vice-president? He can be even scarier sometimes.

Trump was able to target Middle America who wanted change or, more accurately, felt there was too much change; Americans who reject what they see as the elites running their world; a new economy they don’t understand; Americans nostalgic for a simpler time when whites had good jobs and everyone could buy into the American dream; an America of Mayberry and Leave it to Beaver.

This was the message being sent out. The Democrats did not hear it.

This laughing stock cartoon character, the reality television star, will now become the leader of the free world. He is a man with no experience, no credentials. It would be hard to find someone less qualified.

What could it mean for Canada?  NAFTA, the free-trade agreement, is a huge concern. That’s because so many of our jobs depend on free access to the American market. One in five Canadian jobs depends on exports directly or indirectly and the US is our largest trading partner 

What will it mean for climate change? The American plans to phase in the Paris Accords are finished. Our own green strategy in Canada may need to be rethought. Canada could never go this alone. 

Clinton was flawed candidate and Americans didn’t trust her. And the Democrats must share some of the blame for presenting a candidate with such weaknesses and for a candidate who did not have a message.  As twisted and misguided as Trump’s message was, at least he had one.

And that glass ceiling, that the gender barrier she had hoped to break, will remain in a country where the new president leader thinks is fine to grope women, body shame girls and rate females on their breast size. 

I visit America often. It already is great in so many ways and most Americans I have met are kind and well-meaning people. But today something is very broken. This is not the America that for so long was a light for the rest of world, because that beacon has now grown darker.