A week ago, Americans awoke to find that Donald Trump would be the next president of the United States. We asked our readers to share their insights on what Trump’s surprising means and how it would impact Western Civilization in the coming years.

Below is a sampling of your insightful responses:

[Editor’s Note: These responses have been abridged and edited for clarity, but syntax and sentence structure have been left intact.]

Josh Young – “The biggest significant discovery is the death of traditional media and cable news. For decades this has been the primary conveyor of information. American distrust in big media is apparent after election night. The only thing they trust less is big government.”

Nicole Elders Andrews – “What does it mean? Well, after reading numerous blogs, posts, media threads… Liberals still don’t get it. The huge majority of Americans in the middle… The moderates, are tired. We’re tired of being labeled racist, bigoted, misogynistic, homophobic and whatever hateful slam you, the ‘enlightened’, deem suitable. You see, we are educated, we’re typically a “live and let live” group that want our laws enforced, our government non-corrupt, our borders strengthened and our country prosperous. It’s not our job to make you feel good about yourself, that is your parents job. Success is available to any willing to work for it and we embrace equal opportunity… Not equal outcome. We reject your labels, your handcuffs and your self-perceived superiority… You’re no better than us… You just live in an echo chamber that doesn’t allow you to be truly ‘tolerant.”

Ralph Ackerman – “I think P.T. Barnum summed it up quite well: ‘There’s a sucker borne ever minute’. Americans may well have proved it by following the sideshow barker Trump into the tent to be fleeced! If it was really change they wanted, why did the leave the corruption in place and just replace the figure head on the puppet?”

Tammy Foster – “I was never a fan of either Trump or Hillary. I voted third party hoping to at least help give them some traction for the future. You know it’s pretty bad when a Democrat who switched his D to an R and flipped all his stances in order to run for president is seen as the most sane and conservative pick. At most Trump is a Blue Dog Democrat. He may very well make some conservative choices. But, contrary to what a lot of Trump followers are posting today, he did not turn blue states red….he simply finished turning the Republican party blue. I leave some room to be wrong but I have a strong feeling that there will be some serious buyer’s remorse during his term. That said, since I voted 3rd party, I am free to laugh at both sides! Because while this may be my circus, those are not my monkeys.

Jim Louvier – “It’s the end. America has come out in support of hatred on all levels against anyone that’s not straight, white, rich, and male. I’m appalled by the results and am completely ashamed to say that I am from this country.”

Roger Costello – “A lot of experts say Trump is a harbinger of change, that’s why he won the election. A lot of people see him not as a career politician or Washington insider. As for Western civilization, he is in what would be called an American aristocracy, and it is not strange for a nation’s leaders to be chosen from this class. He is more like what we’ve had the past eight years, with Barack Obama. A populist like Gaius Julius Caesar that promises winds of change but is still part of the elite. For certain we will see a more conservative Justice in the Supreme Court nominated. We will see attempts to change the Affordable Care Act. We will see trade deals renegotiated. But as far as a Western representative democracy, he is quite typical.

Heather Parker – “I was planning to close my business if she won, it’s not worth it to continue being taxed for thousands a year; I can’t keep up with that, and live.”

Charlene Peters – “Even as a devoted Republican, I fear a Trump presidency mainly because he got there using hateful rhetoric. I am pro-life, pro-religious liberties, and pro-immigration reform. That does not make me anti-women, anti-Muslim, and anti-immigration. I think women have the right to decide their body, but not another. If, as a Christian, I have a religious right, a Muslim should have the same right. I am okay with a wall, and searching for immigrant criminals, but a family should not be separated, and I think the U.S. should make citizenship more possible. Trump is my future President, I accept that. But, he does not represent all of me.”

John Long – “The experiment of a far left government has ended, resulting in an equal and mirroring experiment in a right-leaning government. Time alone will tell if the second experiment will succeed or fail as often such extreme movements do.”

Nicholas Sweeten – “I don’t know if Trump will be a good president or a bad president. But what I do believe is that he is one of the few who can get us over this hurdle of a status quo governmental system. I believe, for better or worse these next four years, that after him things will change for the better. Because he isn’t going to play the same softball game prior presidents have played; he isn’t going to just save face. He isn’t just words because if he was, his mouth would be a lot cleaner. He is a man of action. Either he will clean things up, or we will learn our lesson and quit being apathetic, ignorant voters. Either way, things will ultimately change for the better, in the long run. Hillary would not have done that; she would most certainly have been like all the others, maintaining power and destroying ideals. Trump is a breath of fresh air, like a third party candidate would have been, because he isn’t a career politician.