Tonight we bring down the curtain on the most unusual political year in my lifetime. American voters, faced with two unbelievably unpopular presidential candidates, chose change over status quo.

President-elect Donald Trump, the reality TV star, fooled all the experts. He pulled the political upset of the century because he ignored the pollsters and simply listened to what the voters were telling him.

He used what he learned to hone his message in one gigantic rally after another. In the tradition of successful politics, this nonpolitician simply told them what it wanted to hear.

An unhappy, divided nation responded to promises they desperately needed. The next president would stop several things that had weakened the nation. Trump told us that he will stop the loss of American jobs to foreign countries and create many new jobs for those who have lost theirs. He answered the fears of many that illegal immigrants are overwhelming us on our borders by promising a wall, and new vetting procedures for those wishing to join us in America. This successful businessman will reduce taxes on businesses and all Americans while making investments in infrastructure. The U.S. economy will grow again, and raise the middle class for the first time in over a decade. Obamacare will be replaced with something better.

Trump will put America first as the chief negotiator in a new world of relationships with other nations. A weak foreign policy will be replaced by decisiveness, and a stronger-than-ever military. We will aggressively defeat the “radical Islamist threat.” America will be prosperous again, strong again, respected again. We will “make America great again.”

The message transcended arrogance and political inexperience. Trump won with a brilliant Electoral College strategy. “Crooked Hillary,” the unacceptable other choice, is gone.

In a winning political campaign, there almost always is an element of luck. Clinton and the Dems thought they were extremely lucky to draw what they saw as a sure thing for victory in their opponent Trump. Surely the voters would overwhelmingly reject such a politically inept billionaire. This would be a landslide. Actually, it was Trump who received the luck in the campaign.

Events during the campaign and major mistakes made by his opponent, Clinton, conspired to help elect Trump.

In the final weekend, all the emails, the FBI investigation, the “pay to play” Clinton Foundation and Benghazi all came home to roost.

Then there was the echo of Hillary’s shrill voice as people went to the polls: Those voting for Trump are a “basket of deplorables” with no hope for redemption.

All those average, hard-working, high school-educated, white Americans, whom she and the party had looked down their noses at, responded. Trump will be given a chance because he listened to the voters and respected them. Meanwhile, Hillary blames everybody (especially the Russians) except herself.

Her party now turns to radicals in the Senate to find a new chairman of the Democratic National Committee who will support the socialistic agenda of Sen. Bernie Sanders. They do this while calling Trump and the Republicans extremists.

President Barack Obama leaves the nation worse off than eight years ago, and dangerously stabs in the back our greatest ally, the only democracy in the Middle East, Israel, on his way out the door.

Now it is up to Trump to deliver on his many promises. We are a fair and reasonable nation; we have just simply had enough of politics as usual.

The nation now finds the next president’s popularity over 50 percent, and the stock market has staged a huge rally after Trump’s election.

We will have a politically incorrect president who will do it his way. Let’s hope and pray that it works.

On the Maine political scene, the impasse appears ready to continue. It will be difficult to get anything done with the irascible Gov. Paul LePage still determined to ignore the wishes of the voters on several issues.

The hope is that new Democratic House leadership will find some common ground with Republicans in the Senate.

In Augusta city politics, this columnist wishes to salute three outstanding public servants as they leave with a great history of accomplishment. Pat Paradis, Ward 3 ‘s biggest asset; Cecil Munson, Paradis’ close friend;and Dale McCormick are gone from the City Council. Each leave behind a legacy of outstanding constituent service. Paradis and McCormick also served previously as leaders in the state Legislature. These three personify the value of true public servants.

Happy New Year, everybody. 2017 will be better.

Don Roberts is a veteran broadcaster, writer and political consultant. He has served Augusta as a city councilor at-large, charter commission vice chairman and utilities district treasurer.

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