The world was watching this test of our sanity, wisdom and tolerance, and we failed.

They watched as we replaced a president who led us for eight years without a single personal scandal, worked tirelessly on our behalf despite constate Republican obstruction and was greatly respected by our allies around the globe, with someone woefully unqualified, inadequate and unstable.

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Donald Trump's rhetoric has been described as being dangerously similar to that of past and present authoritarian leaders. A president-elect who has chosen alleged white supremacists to be among his closest advisers should not be considered the new normal.

Trump was endorsed by the world's most autocratic leaders, aided in his election by Vladmir Putin and refused to release his tax returns, all facts that should have concerned us.

Likewise, the fact that he taunts the press unless it is favorable to him, feeds his ego with adoring crowds and threatens retaliation against challengers him should have alarmed us.

Unfortunately, a horse-race narrative was more lucrative for the media, and a proper vetting was not done.

Hillary Clinton's popular-vote lead likely will surpass 2 million. But a combined margin of roughly the population of Fargo in the states of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin gave the election to Trump.

A candidate uniquely prepared to lead from Day One now watches in disbelief as the president-elect runs his transition like a frightening reality show.

So, I'm asking Americans to become involved. Apathy and laziness are our worst enemies. Learn about the issues for future elections; don't just vote for a candidate because of the D or R next to the name.

Don't be swayed by empty promises and false rhetoric. Our nation and the world depend on it.

Shirley Bohnsack

Mayville, N.D.