A is for alt-right, a sanitized, newspeak name for assorted white nationalists, neo-Nazis, anti-Semites and other irredeemables. Also, a distressing chunk of Donald Trump’s base.
B is for Brexit, or as we now like to call it, “the handwriting on the wall.”
C is for classified emails, or what Hillary Clinton insisted there were none of on her home email server, until the FBI discovered that there in fact were.
D is for deplorables, basket of: Hillary Clinton’s unfortunate description of “half” of Trump’s supporters; she later apologized, saying it’s not quite half.
E is for emoluments clause, a formerly obscure section of the Constitution barring presidents from receiving payments from foreign countries — obscure because what president would even consider making that an issue? Donald Trump.
F is for fake news, the kind of unsubstantiated trash that circulates around on Facebook and Twitter, convincing undiscerning readers that Pope Francis endorsed Donald Trump or that Hillary Clinton is running an underage sex slavery ring out of a Washington pizza joint.
G is for “grab ‘em by the …,” a phrase the American public will be trying desperately, and we fear in vain, to erase from our collective memories.
Thanks, Access Hollywood.
H is for hands, small, or Sen. Marco Rubio’s amazing feat of making the 2016 election even more juvenile than Donald Trump did, though Trump did not let this new record of puerility stand for long, asserting that there was “no problem, I guarantee” with the body part Rubio really meant to measure.
I is for illegal votes, or what President-elect Donald Trump claimed there were millions of without any evidence whatsoever, amid trying to argue that no recount of the election was necessary.
J is for James Comey, the FBI director whom Donald Trump called a disgrace until he sent a bizarre letter to Congress days before the election about Hillary Clinton’s emails, at which point he became a man of principle.
K is for KKK, or a group whose endorsements Trump felt little compulsion to disavow and whose most famous ex-leader Trump pretended not to have heard of.
L is for “Lyin’ Ted,” “Little Marco” and “Low-energy Jeb,” or the hit parade of insults Trump threw at his primary election opponents before ultimately turning his fire on “Crooked Hillary.”
M is for Machado, Alicia, the former Miss Universe whose weight Trump couldn’t stop tweeting about.
N is for “non-endorsement,” or what Sen. Ted Cruz offered to Donald Trump in a prime-time speech at the Republican National Convention, ensuring that Americans across the political spectrum could agree on at least one thing this year: that guy’s a jerk.
O is for Obama, Michelle, likely the first person in modern political history whose words were among the highlights of both the Democratic and Republican national conventions.
P is for pneumonia, the illness that caused Hillary Clinton to collapse in what was evidence of either a) her self-defeating penchant for secrecy or b) a global conspiracy to cover up her battle with some sort of grave degenerative disease.
Q is for Quebec, or the prospective home of some of the multitudes of celebrities who said they would leave the country if Donald Trump were elected, including Amy Schumer, Barbara Streisand, Miley Cyrus, Cher, Lena Dunham and Samuel L. Jackson.
R is for revolution, or what was promised by Sen. Bernie Sanders to Democratic primary voters in a tone most often associated with old men yelling at kids to get off their lawns.
S is for Sachs, Goldman, the giant investment bank that paid Hillary Clinton hundreds of thousands of dollars for speeches, the text of which she refused to release, leading to much criticism from Trump that she was too cozy with Wall Street. Also: The former employer of Trump’s chief strategic adviser and treasury secretary.
T is “textbook racism,” or one of the many denunciations House Speaker Paul Ryan made of the comments and actions of the candidate he endorsed for president but whom he would not campaign for or answer questions about.
U is for Utah, the state whose fondness for former CIA officer and independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin led to fevered speculation about the possibility of an electoral college tie and a movement to stop Trump in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.
V is for Vladimir Putin, Russian president, ex-KGB agent, annexer of Crimea, jailer of political opponents, crusher of free speech, kleptocrat of historic proportions, and BFF of Donald Trump.
W is for “what is Aleppo?” or a phrase that sank any hope that Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson’s campaign might take off.
X is for … so many options here: xanthous, or a description of Trump’s odd skin tone; x-rated, for the content of some of Trump’s speeches, debate answers and Howard Stern interviews, not to speak of leaked Access Hollywood tapes; Xi Jinping, the Chinese president whose call of congratulations Trump initially denied receiving; or xyloid, a description of Clinton’s speaking style on the stump. But obviously, we’ve got to go with xenophobia for this one.
Y is for “you’d be in jail,” or Donald Trump’s promise during a presidential debate about what would have happened to Hillary Clinton over her use of a private email server if he had been in charge, though he later dropped plans to appoint a special prosecutor to go after her in an act of magnanimity befitting the most benevolent of despots.
Z is for zero, or the number of previous presidents who have lacked government or military experience; the number of press conferences Trump has held since the election; the level of interest the president-elect has shown in briefings from the nation’s intelligence agencies or advice on diplomacy from the State Department; the number of tax returns Trump has released; or the impact repeated denunciations of Trump by editorial boards, foreign policy experts or mainstream Republicans had on the outcome of this election.