…We never saw you coming.

Written by Bridget Clerkin

Togetherness. Unity. A shared consensus in faith. These are the final words of advice Barack Obama has used his pulpit to promote, at once a reminder of the civility we should strive for and an example of its importance in preserving our fragile morals.

In the face of an electorate unified only in its quickness to hate and heated passions, these words offer a cool and sober path for those who found themselves lost last night. Thank you, Mr. President.

And in the spirit of the tone he has set: thank you, secret Trump supporters.

Thank you for revealing so plainly our true character. For stripping away the pretense of One Nation Under God and delivering us from evil, Amen. Admitting a problem exists is the first step toward solving it. Thank you for progressing us toward true healing.

Thank you, Trump women. Your vote illuminates the inherent struggles of femalehood that are far too often overlooked. The constant conditioning of lesserness. The incessant suggestions that our true value lay in our bodies, not our brains. The reinforced notions of inferiority and dependency and apology.

Thank you for shining a light on the exhausting effort required to reject these conditions on a constant basis. On the seductive easiness of giving in to these preordained roles. Thank you for reminding us that a personal connection with a strong woman is a precious gift bestowed upon too few.

Thank you, Trump men. You’ve reminded us all of the terrifying and terrible power of fear and visceral emotion. That change is hard. That a majority demographic can, too, feel unheard.

Thank you for your anger and frustration. Signals, both, of our imperfect union and how far we still have to go and how hard we still need to work.

Thank you for showcasing the true ugliness of man in all its naked glory, lest we forget our brutal, tribal roots. For reminding us of the precious nature of democracy and for reinvigorating our efforts to preserve what foundations we will be lucky enough to walk away from this election with.

Thank you for reminding us that the fruits of progress are sweet and scarce, and must be guarded carefully.

And most of all, thank you, Trump Silent Majority. Your unprecedented numbers were a lesson in ignorance. Of the dangers of the watchdog, too complacent to stay edgy. Of a numb and dumb electorate. Of instant gratification and seven second memories. Thank you for calculating the sum total of a broken society’s production.

Thank you for reminding us that racism, xenophobia, sexism and hate are still thriving institutions in this country, all. For allowing us no escape from ourselves. No wiggle room to convince ourselves otherwise. For holding up a mirror to our spiteful faces. For taping our eyes open, forcing us to take it all in.

Thank you for gouging our worst wounds reopen. For removing the scabs that obstructed the view of our true source of pain. For divorcing us from the showy, substance-free attempts to treat our symptoms ad nauseam. And oh, what liberation!

But dear Silent Majority, thank you most of all for removing any ambiguity from your opinion. May your mandate of hatred and fear spark a movement of love and peace. May your embrace of ignorance encourage an era of self-reflection. May your resistance to change inspire generations of progress. And may your final word on our country usher in the beginning of a beautiful new age.

Bridget Clerkin is a writer in sunny Southern California who likes New York Giants football, world travel, and mainlining the universe.