The presidential campaign of 2016 was astonishingly revealing to me. I learned a lot about people I have known for years, many of whom I have much affection for. I am now questioning whether I really ever knew some of these people at all. These are people whom I have known to be loving, giving, good-hearted people. Knowing that they voted for Donald Trump to lead this (still and always) great nation makes me think they are really not loving, giving, and good-hearted at all.

The idea that the hatred these people have for Hillary Clinton would have led them to vote for someone as wholly unqualified and demonstrably unstable as Donald Trump makes me think they are ruled by their emotions, and I would not have said that about most of them before. That those who have daughters or granddaughters would vote for an admitted womanizer, a man who brags about assaulting women, who brags about deliberately walking in on teenage girls as they changed into their swimsuits, who has said he doesn’t treat women with respect and speaks of them as if they are possessions, who judges and criticizes women based on their looks — that these people would vote for this man leaves me stunned, particularly when the other choice was an enormously qualified and brilliant woman who was poised to set a tremendously positive example for their daughters and granddaughters. No, instead they voted for a man who said he’d like to date his daughter and once described her on Howard Stern’s show as being “a nice piece of ass.”

“You know, it really doesn’t matter what the media write as long as you’ve got a young, and beautiful, piece of ass.” (Donald J. Trump)

“If Hillary Clinton can’t satisfy her husband, what makes her think she can satisfy America?” (Donald J. Trump, 4/16/15)

But no, from my view, their hatred of Hillary was greater than their love of anything or anyone. How can I respect people like that?

Over the past decade or so, the issue of bullying has become prominent, with children killing themselves rather than face another day of it. There are people I know who would never tolerate bullying behavior from their own children or from children in their charge. Yet for some reason they believe that the behavior Donald Trump models is admirable, or at least of little importance, when he calls people names, mocks a person with disabilities, and describes as “losers” anyone who disagrees with him.

These people who claim to “support the troops” voted for a man who received multiple deferments from service because of a stubbed toe or something, who claimed he knows “more about ISIS than the generals do, believe me,” who said he would order U.S. troops to murder the families of those who threaten us, and who attacked a Gold Star family.

As I write this, I truly, honestly feel as if we are experiencing our last few days of democracy. I am truly, honestly terrified. I’m not angry. I’m terrified. I’m terrified of a president that defends Vladimir Putin at the expense of the hardworking American men and women of the intelligence community. I’m terrified of a president that shuns intel briefings and gets his information from Wikileaks. I’m terrified of a president who takes the time to go on the attack against movie stars and civil rights icons when he is about to take the reins of the most powerful nation on earth.

Did you vote for Trump? If so, I’d invite you to explain all this to me. Tell me why I shouldn’t be terrified right now. And tell me why I should respect you.