A Trump presidency won't be a question of hold onto your hats for four years and then sanity will rule.
That's the warning from Australia's former ambassador to Washington Kim Beazley who believes America would be a different place after a term of Donald Trump in the White House.
The world would be different as well.
"He would trash basically the structure of alliance relationships and trade relationships in our immediate region," Beazley told ABC radio.
Australia could not "sit back and let mayhem rule" and in the event of a Trump win there would be "immense responsibilities on us".
"We can't afford to see our region, including relations with China, fall victim to ill-considered confrontations," Beazley wrote in a commentary posted on the Australian Strategic Policy Institute's website.
The one-time Defence Minister said Australia did not have the "the capacity to readily survive an uncoupling of our bilateral defence relationship with our national security intact".
He reflected on the importance to Australia's national security of joint facilities, intelligence sharing, paid for access to the best American military equipment and joint scientific research projects, and mutually useful exercises.
Australia's conundrum was "what on earth do we say, and where do we begin" with a man who spent his presidential campaign trashing the entirety of the alliance system, and the liberal international rules-based order, that have underpinned trade and broader global relationships since 1945?
Beazley likened the behaviour of Republican supporters at the party's national convention in July to a hostage situation, saying it was like "watching a mass Stockholm syndrome event".
"They mobilised around chants worthy of the killing of Piggy in Lord of the Flies. (Hillary Clinton is) the substitute for the virtuous Piggy," he said.
Beazley will deliver a keynote speech at ASPI tonight.