The morning after the night before, some conclusions are as clear as the Statue of Liberty on a bright summer's day: the United States is deeply and utterly divided.
There is no return there to what we once thought of as normal politics.
The uncertainty at the time of writing about who will ultimately occupy the White House means officials at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade are probably keeping two files near at hand, one for President Trump and one for President Biden.
What might President Biden mean for Australia?
Earlier in the week, the American ambassador in Canberra said: "The alliance between the United States and Australia will remain strong and vibrant and forward-leading, regardless of the outcome of the election."
That may be true but President Biden would be more likely to follow a familiar path of locking in old alliances.
Because he was a member of the Obama administration, he is a known quantity. He may well be his own man but his ways of thinking and his values are apparent.
He would create more certainty that the United States would be there if times got tough - with China, for example.
In Europe, where Mr Trump has seemed to scorn old allies, particularly Angela Merkel of Germany, a Biden presidency would mean a return to the familiar united and tough stance against Russia. NATO would feel more important.
There is agreement across the divide in Washington that the rise of China is a challenge to the position of the United States in our part of the world.
Mr Trump has asserted that he would be the tougher president - "If Joe Biden wins, China wins," as he put it.
But a President Biden might be just as resolute but with more subtlety, offering carrots with the threat of a stick.
But Mr Trump can't be uninvented. There is no neat return to the "free trade" world he demolished.
A trade war with China might be more easily averted under President Biden but tariffs and protection are here to stay. Attitudes have changed.
Until President Trump, the drive was to lower barriers to trade but a President Biden would be unlikely to revert to that fully.
It would be too unpopular in the very areas of the Rust Belt which determined this election.
Joe Biden was the vice-president to Barack Obama under the "Pivot to Asia" which Hillary Clinton defined as "strengthening bilateral security alliances; deepening our working relationships with emerging powers, including with China; engaging with regional multilateral institutions; expanding trade and investment; forging a broad-based military presence; and advancing democracy and human rights."
Joe Biden is not Hillary Clinton but it is unlikely that this concentration on the Australian part of the world would waver.
A Biden presidency is more likely to revert to a "post-war internationalism" which President Trump departed from with his America First policy.
According to Professor Wesley Widmaier of the Australian National University, "with Biden, I think you'll have a return to what Australia is used to."
What about climate change and health?
Mr Trump walked away from the Paris Agreement which was meant to address climate change in a coherent international way. Mr Biden would be likely to re-embrace that agreement.
Mr Trump has also made a virtue of mistrusting experts on the coronavirus epidemic.
Mr Biden who wore a mask while campaigning starts afresh and would be much more likely to trust the scientists.
If a Biden presidency helped bring the epidemic under control in the United States, particularly with the emergence of a vaccine, Australia would benefit because international travel would resume sooner. As Americans flew in, they would bring their dollars with them.
And if Mr Trump wins
There would be a return to business as usual - which means business as unusual.
Whatever you think of Mr Trump, predictability is not the trait you immediately associate with him.
That can be a strength. If your adversaries don't quite know how you will react, they may be overly cautious and keen to please.
And it can be a weakness.
"If Trump wins, we will continue to have what I think is a confused, sometimes hot and cold, US foreign policy, which will pose a challenge to Australia," Professor Wildmaier said in the public service magazine, The Mandarin.
President Trump may also be emboldened greatly by his election victory which went against the expectations of pundits and pollsters, just as it did in 2016.
He will have the air of a leader who defies the elite and wins, despite all the odds.
An emboldened President will also be without the "grown-ups in the room" who were there at the beginning of his first term, people like Jim Mattis, a Marine Corps four-star general who became Defense Secretary under President Trump.
"If Trump wins again - the adults in the room were kind of gone by the midpoint of his administration," Professor Widmaier said.
"I imagine his own personal stamp on foreign policy would intensify and it's probably not so good for Australia because Australia likes American involvement in the region and America playing that balancing role against China."
There are those who argue, though, that Mr Trump's bluster conceals a more effective policy than it might at first appear to be.
And he has not been as antagonistic towards Australia as he has been to other countries.
He has, for example, brokered an informal partnership between the US, Japan, India and Australia.