…Mr. Trump owes nothing to the traditional powers in his party – not the Koch brothers, not the leadership in Congress – and he may chart an independent course. We can hope against hope that he will shed his campaign persona for one befitting a nation’s leader. We do so without illusions – ready to support him, without denying the many disgraceful things he did and said to get elected, the promises he may or may not keep, the falsehoods he peddled that were either delusions or lies.

It’s a strange, distressing situation for citizens to be in – to acknowledge the danger of having a reckless, unqualified leader, while maintaining respect for the office he holds. But we cannot give in to fear or despondency. There is too much to be done.

There is a planet to save. The earth is in peril from a changing climate no matter how many deniers say otherwise. There may be millions of immigrants to shield from a Trump homeland-enforcement regime. State and local governments may need to step in if the federal government retreats from protecting consumers or helping educate children. And there may be sick people to care for, should Mr. Trump dismantle the Affordable Care Act.

All Americans can help in this work, whether as activists or volunteers, or simply as neighbors who show, through reaching out to someone who looks or worships differently than they do, that they reject bigotry, misogyny and fear. Let’s give Mrs. Clinton the last word, an exhortation to young people who supported her candidacy and the values it embodied. “This loss hurts, but please never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it,” she said. “We need you to keep up these fights now and for the rest of your lives.”