Face it, America. You had your opportunity and you blew it. There’s no stopping Donald Trump now.

Yes, Donald Trump is a petulant child who uses his platform to attack people who disagree with him. Yes, he lacks any hint of tact and social grace. Yes, he is – at worst – woefully unqualified to lead this nation and – at best – not even remotely interested. Yes, his is more likely to go rogue and set his own agenda as President. But like it or, this man is here to stay and won’t change to align himself with the demeanor of the other 44 presidents in our nation’s history. The reason can be surmised by two simple words:

“He won.”

Pay attention to literally every interview with Kellyanne Conway. Listen to his own remarks during his first press conference. Read what many of his followers are saying about him on social media. At that point, it will all become crystal clear: the fact that he won the election has and will continue to provide a shield for just about anything this man could ever say or do. To Trump, winning this election represented the ultimate exemption. He was crowned with the “people’s” trust despite every – forgive the expression – “deplorable” thing he said and did leading up to election day. By his own (joking?) admission, he could probably shoot somebody in the middle of 5th Avenue without dealing with any political consequences. He’s moving on his promise to build a wall, potentially creating strain between us and Mexico, he’s violated unspoken good business practice by stiffing contractors and his own employees alike, settled out of court after defrauding thousands of students with a fake university, ripped off shareholders who put their trust in him, encouraged violence at his rallies, has engaged in horrendously inappropriate and demeaning activities with women, has boastfully avoided paying taxes, and has repeatedly used Twitter to disseminate false information in attacks on dozens of people ranging from President Obama to Ted Cruz. To top it off, last week he delivered arguably one of the most divisive inauguration speeches in U.S. history. What most of us would view as unhinged behavior – un-presidential antics we would normally frown upon – actually wind up helping him. Not only did his actions not lead to his demise, many would argue it’s the very thing that helped him ascend. I have my own theories about why Trump won (because liberals hand delivered the win), but I’d be foolish to discount the role his raw, unrefined, and shady character played in his win. How could we not factor that in? His self-centered, behavior is sort of, well, American.

In the eyes of many people, Donald J. Trump simply can do no wrong.

What makes matters even worse is that our last line of defense is sadly, the good folks in Congress. They’re the only people Trump has to answer to at this point. But I frankly don’t see many GOP lawmakers breaking ranks with him on too many issues at the risk of losing political capital with their own constituents. To them, the political risk of dueling against Trump far exceed any potential consequences of being dragged into mess created by the Trump administration; mess which may or may not be significant to turn off his supporters. Equally, the GOP seems to have collectively concluded that destroying any remnants of the Obama administration is far more important than preventing any wholesale corruption from taking place in the Trump administration. In their minds, the bigger bogey man is the guy leaving, not the guy taking his place.

There’s something about winning that creates a certain sense of invincibility for the winner, especially in the political realm. The winner parenthetically qualifies their win as an endorsement by “the people” to do whatever it is they see fit to make this country run (which is why Donald Trump is so obsessed with the popular vote. Losing the popular vote represents the fact that he’s more hated than loved, more opposed than supported). So as long as he can ride the victory wave, count on Trump doing whatever he wants like an unchecked king. Oh, and having a well of executive orders at your disposal doesn’t hurt.

The only way to stop Trump at this point is with the mid-term elections. If there is a serious swing in Congressional power, a Democratic-controlled House and Senate can provide the checks and balances needed to curb Trump’s petty and child-like governance. However, gerrymandering, aggressive strategies to make voting more difficult, and voter apathy will probably keep that from happening. In short people, buckle up. This is going to be a long, frustrating, and unstoppable ride. Trump is the driver. Nobody is left to stop him from running us all off the cliff.