Trump victory an earthquake of enormous magnitude

Let's start with the obvious: This is an earthquake of enormous magnitude. Actually one so large that it is in danger of breaking through the top end of the Richter scale.

Whether it's a rebellion, a mass insurrection or a full-scale revolution we cannot yet say.

But the political, economic and, yes, journalistic élites in America have been stunned and humiliated.

They didn't see it coming. They didn't spot its momentum. This morning they don't understand its implications or how to analyse what it means for America and the world.

Donald Trump ran a campaign that should have imploded. He was accused by a dozen women of sexual assault.

He was revealed to be a man who boasted of predatory behaviour. He mocked the disabled, Latinos, blacks, know the list.

Trump supporters celebrate as election results come in. Credit: Reuters

This man is now President-elect of the United States. In a few weeks he will have his finger on the nuclear trigger.

He is a populist demagogue who has democratically seized the levers of power.

Against all the odds, Republicans now control the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives, and will be able to fill the decisive vacancy on the Supreme Court.

Donald Trump will move into the White House in the new year. Credit: PA

Trump described his candidacy as "Brexit plus plus plus."

But this is America. The biggest military and economic power in the world.

It stands this morning more divided than we have seen since the darkest days of the civil rights protests.

Can the wounds be healed? Can Trump pivot from outlandish maverick to pragmatist and national conciliator?

He based his political rise on a cruel lie - he is the godfather of the Birther Movement - claiming that Barack Obama was born outside of America and should not be President.

So it seems almost impossible to imagine that he can now reach out to minorities and vulnerable communities.

But if he does not build bridges - instead of his impractical wall - then America may lurch from shock into crisis.