Like the majority of Mainers, I was not for Donald Trump. But he will soon be our president, having won fair and square. Now we all need to leave the campaigning behind and do our best to support him, where we can. There will be plenty of time and opportunities, in the future, to rally opposition where it is needed.

One thing we can all celebrate is that the system worked. The election was not rigged. People have not taken to the streets in violence. A peaceful transfer of power is underway. And the democracy that this country has built, one great struggle at a time, will endure long after the bitterness of this campaign and this new administration are behind us.

Those who are frightened by the prospect of a Trump presidency have every reason to be concerned. They can take some small comfort in our history, though, which shows that campaign promises made to cheering crowds of adoring fans have a way of softening in the real world of governing.

However the Trump presidency goes, we can only hope that he will grow into his job and learn as he goes. And that some of his most destructive ideas will die quietly before doing too much damage to the country. If not, the political pendulum in this country, which sometimes swings too far in one direction, has a way of correcting itself over time.

Hillary Clinton should be congratulated for running a strong campaign. She worked hard. She was a brilliant debater. She never wavered from her message or her passion for families. And, in the end, she lost with grace and compassion.

What caused her to lose was not the quality of her campaign but bad timing. In both 2008 and 2016, Clinton was a candidate of the status quo running against a tide of change.

Some Democrats are now lashing out at Trump’s supporters, suggesting they are all evil or stupid, racist or worse. If they continue to think that way, they will entirely miss the lessons to be learned from this campaign. And more losses will come.

The great majority of Americans who supported Trump are simply people who are falling backward in a changing economy. They are losing hope and confidence in the country and the future. And they see Washington – and both political parties – as part of the problem.

At the heart of their call for change is economic uncertainty and fear about the future. They’re working harder and earning less. They see trade deals that seem to help the rich and powerful and leave them without jobs. And they see the gap between them and more educated and secure people widening.

The call for change has been a persistent feature of American politics since at least the mid-1970s, when the middle class began to shrink. Since then, we’ve elected five different presidents who ran as outsiders promising change. Two were Republicans, and three were Democrats.

In the aftermath of Watergate, the country supported an evangelical peanut farmer from Georgia, Jimmy Carter. When change didn’t come fast enough, it turned to Ronald Reagan, the actor from California running against the party establishment. Then support swung to Bill Clinton, an Arkansas governor and centrist who promised to balance the budget and reform welfare.

More recently, President Obama’s message of hope and change galvanized a new generation. Last week, with impatience growing, the country elected Trump with the support of many of the same voters who propelled Obama into office in 2008.

Votes for change candidates are regularly interpreted by the winning party as a mandate for partisan priorities. But change voters are far less partisan than the parties think. When Reagan first ran, the second choice of many of his backers was Democrat Jesse Jackson. Similarly, Trump supporters’ second choice during the primary was often Bernie Sanders. What mattered was not party – or even ideology – but a believable commitment to change.

A very similar change wave has been at work in Maine. Since the mid-1970s, we’ve elected two independent governors, both outsiders to the political system. Most recently, a Republican change agent, Paul LePage, easily bested two Democrats with long experience in government.

If there is a thread that runs through all of those elections, it is this: In nearly every case, the “party regulars” and insiders have put forward an establishment candidate with long experience in government. And each time, they have lost.

Alan Caron is the principal of Caron Communications and the author of “Maine’s Next Economy” and “Reinventing Maine Government.” He can be contacted at:

[email protected]