Americans react to emotionally draining presidential election

Whether the words “President Trump” left you screaming for joy or howling in anger, it wasn’t hard to find support for your view Wednesday.

Americans woke up like they went to bed: deeply, bitterly and, as the vote totals tell us, nearly evenly divided.

The same event that sparked this reaction on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show -- “The things we had been thinking and feeling for our country have been validated by virtue of what the American people did yesterday” -- left them drowning in despair elsewhere on the radio dial: “Well that Cheeto-faced bozo is now our president.”

For every pro-Trump Facebook post like the one from Keelan Ledwidge, who said the election was “an ultimate vindication,” there was one like Chuck Daly’s which said “America made the choice to go backwards.”

Kaitlyn Greiner, a Republican college student, and Saquib Rahim, a Democrat and Muslim, tell America’s story, looking at the same election and drawing two very different conclusions.

“The silent majority spoke during this election and the American people chose their president and they chose Trump and I think that we need to focus on unifying the country now and moving forward,” Greiner said.

“I woke up this morning and the only I can equate it to was the feeling I had after 9/11. And that feeling still hasn’t gone away,” Rahim said.

In the Rose Garden Wednesday, President Obama did his best to begin the process of drawing the country together.

“We’re not Democrats first, we’re not Republicans first, we are Americans first,” Obama said.

But as Rahim put it, it will take much more than a presidential nudge.

“Both sides need to be able to discuss their views, both sides need to listen. It’s not simply either or. Both sides need to feel that their standing in this country, their standings as Americans, is equal,” Rahim said.

  • Jim Axelrod

    Jim Axelrod is the senior national correspondent for CBS News, reporting for "CBS This Morning," the "CBS Evening News," "CBS Sunday Morning," and other CBS News broadcasts.