In the sleep-deprived post-Election Day haze last week, a couple of friends told me they had a familiar feeling in the pit of their stomachs.

It was the way they’d felt after 9/11.

Overdramatic? Maybe. Nobody died because Wisconsin and Pennsylvania tipped over to the Republicans last Tuesday. And unlike the terrorist attack 15 years ago, this was bad news only for some of us. About half the voters on Tuesday got the outcome that they were hoping for, and they are not in mourning now – they’re celebrating.

So feeling wounded and alone is a shared experience that only some people are sharing, and rather than bringing everyone together, this selective cataclysm is another sign of how divided we are.

Watching Donald Trump’s victory roll out in slow motion reminded me of a different event in recent history.

In September 2008, I was a union representative involved in negotiations with an investor group that was considering buying my company. We were facing each other across tables in a hotel conference room when suddenly the private-equity guys on the other side of the room started getting messages on their BlackBerrys. (These were the days when grownups didn’t use iPhones.)

One by one, they all hurried out of the room and only the union reps were left, looking at each other. We knew something had just happened but we had no idea of what it was or what it would mean.

We soon found out. The House had just voted down President Bush’s Wall Street bailout bill and the stock market was in a nosedive. Our negotiations quickly reflected the new economic reality.

In my mind, these three events are connected – and not just because Trump’s election would be unthinkable if not for 9/11 and the financial collapse. (I know, as recently as last month, anyway, I said that his election would be unthinkable, but really – what would Trump talk about if not Islamic terrorism and the abuses of the elites?)

For me at least, all three carry a very heavy feeling that we are at the end of something we know and entering a new phase of history. We are at the stage of the revolution where the old regime has been chased out, but the new one still hasn’t taken shape. The Bastille has been overrun, but there’s no guillotine set up in the square yet. No one knows what’s next.

No one in the media, least of all me, should try to predict the future after this election, but what is it that just ended?

Barack Obama will leave the White House early next year, and I’m afraid that the era of Obama already is over. Many Americans are celebrating that, but not me.

The first time I ever heard of him was at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston, when he gave the most incredible political speech I had ever seen, with lines like “There’s not a liberal America or a conservative America; there’s the United States of America. There’s not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there’s the United States of America.”

It was a heady notion. It felt like the fulfillment of the Civil Rights Movement, the opportunity to heal old wounds.

Obama gets credit for a number of successes, but when it came to rebuilding a national consensus, he failed. We are the same 50/50 country that we were when he first burst on the scene.

Some will blame the unrelenting opposition he faced from Republicans in Washington, who did whatever they could to thwart him.

But Obama’s opponents were rewarded by voters all around the country in 2010, in 2014 and again this year. The hope for a united United States has been beaten every time the president himself is not on the ballot.

He may have offered healing but too many of us would apparently rather stay sick.

I know that there are people reading this who will think I must be living in an alternate universe.

To them, Obama is a dictator who pushed through policies like the Affordable Care Act without their consent. They don’t see him as a unifying figure, but a divisive one. His approval rating is over 50 percent, but not by much.

Which is why this election creates such strange, dissonant feelings in the country.

For some people it’s the Fourth of July, for others it’s 9/11.

If we can’t agree on what just happened, how are we going to know what’s next?

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