On the morning after the US election my eldest daughter came down the stairs as normal on her way to breakfast holding her teddy bear, Umpa Ted. “Who won?”’ she asked and before I could respond she said: “It’s Trump isn’t it?’ She put Umpa Ted’s paws to his eyes and laid him face down next to me. “He’s crying,” she said and walked off.

All through this Presidential campaign I wanted my young daughters to take an interest in this great political event. I love American politics, especially Presidential politics, and wanted to share that interest with them. To think about the issues, the personalities, the processes, and they have done their best to humour me. Night after night we have watched the news together and night after night it has become a more and more uncomfortable experience for me as a parent. The early evening news as a PG event is a new experience. What Donald Trump said, and what he did, made watching it as a parent a gruelling experience.

I suspect I am not alone in having found it so.

“Campaign in prose and govern in poetry,” the saying goes. Politics is a tough, rough and messy business. It needs to be. People who want to lead and govern should be tested. Their ideas and policies should be challenged. American politics in particular is the roughest and toughest of enterprises. Donald Trump acknowledged this candidly in his victory speech and he has practiced such politics with gusto. What his Presidency will be like only time will tell. The scale of his victory in seizing not only the White House but having coat tails long enough to pile up substantial Republican majorities in both the Senate and Congress is impressive. His tenor of his campaign has a more immediate effect, however.

It is worth noting that in some ways this Presidential campaign has not plumbed the same depths as, say, Jack Kennedy’s in 1960 when it was widely thought that the then voters of West Virginia were plied with money to vote for him. No one disputes the result today as they did when George W. Bush snatched the White House from Al Gore. Chads, hanging or otherwise, have not caused any trouble in the 2016 election. Donald Trump won the primaries and the general election by persuading more people to vote for him where it mattered than anyone he was opposing. It is, for better or for worse, him and his policies that more people have preferred to the alternative they were offered.

Can he escape the tone and tenor of his campaign to fashion a credible and sustainable programme for government? Can he build the political consensus he will need in Washington, and which the system of American government requires, to actually get anything done? Control of both Houses will not automatically translate into unquestioned support for every piece of proposed legislation.

Coming on top of the vote for Brexit, Trump’s victory poses great challenges to democratic politics and politicians, but not to democracy. Brexit and Trump triumphed through proper democratic processes.

In Europe key national elections in Austria, Germany and especially France will be the next test. In France in particular Marie Le Pen must be feeling a new sense of confidence. A victory for her would be a profound challenge to the current European settlement. The great challenge is how politics can address the concerns being expressed by angry voters. Harnessing the infectious energy of anti-establishmentarianism to a positive purpose is the urgent and central challenge for this generation and the next.