Thanks to all the Democratic supporters and voters who came out on Tuesday to vote and who helped add Virginia to the states that supported Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine.

Eileen Bedell ran a great campaign for Congress and we thank her for doing that very hard work and making the personal sacrifice to be a Congressional Candidate.  She made a good showing and got almost 37% of Louisa’s votes.

I also want to thank our Electoral Board members, Patty Driskill,  Larry Lewis and Andi Gilmer,  along with Registrar Cris Watkins and her staff, for the hard work and preparation they put into making this a relatively uneventful and smooth election.

Sheriff Fortune and his deputies patrolled the polls and made sure that it was a peaceful election.  We are grateful for your service.

The election is over. Many things will change over the next four years with a Trump presidency. Trump campaigned on many of these issues so we can count on real changes for Americans.

We can count on over 20 million people losing their healthcare when the Affordable Care Act is repealed.  That is a staggering number of uninsured Americans.  The EPA mandate for state Clean Power Plans which President Obama authorized will be withdrawn.  Coal and oil production, along with the warming of the planet, will accelerate.  Look out for major changes to climate in the next five years. In fact, the EPA will be defunded if not eliminated entirely by Trump.

The Republican Congress and President will most likely privatize Social Security and Medicare.  This has been a Republican goal for decades.

Dodd-Frank is dead and, along with that, any meaningful regulation of Wall Street.

Any kind of college debt alleviation has been delayed for at least four years.  After all, our president-elect himself ran a fake university so what does he care about student debt?

The Paris Climate Accord and the Iran Nuclear Deal are binding international treaties, but they can be obstructed and defunded, rendering America’s leadership meaningless.  Will Trump follow through on his NATO promises? Will he re-ally America with the authoritarian regimes in the Middle East and Russia? It remains to be seen.  It looks like a volatile and unstable period for global politics because of this election.

Many people see a boost to the economy.  Large tax cuts to for the wealthy (trickle down) never worked.  In fact, under George W. Bush, we lost many jobs. Bringing manufacturing back to the U.S. will be next to impossible.  Any tariff increases will have to go through the Republican Congress which has long favored outsourcing of jobs to save big corporations money.

Rebuilding our infrastructure, which Obama has tried to do for 8 years, is unlikely to happen.  Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell has already said that it will not be a priority for the Senate Republicans.  Trump can’t make it happen without Congress.

I can’t even imagine what the next very conservative Supreme Court will do to dismantle our rights. I am certain that a woman’s right to choose will be gone in the next two years. I am just as certain that conservatives will take another run at further gutting the Voting Rights Act, to preserve their majority.

One more thing, the deficit will increase hugely under Trump as it has under every other Republican president, including Reagan and Bush.  Cutting taxes and increasing spending has never been a successful deficit reduction strategy.

God help us all.

JoAnna Hickman

Editors Note: This letter appeared in the 11-17-16 edition of the Central Virginian, and is only available online to paid subscribers.