Donald Trump probably won’t get credit, even from those bending over backward to be charitable to last night’s winner, for his most-revolutionary endeavor-namely his effort to lighten up campaign rhetoric. Even now many Republican anti-Trumpers continue to fume over his remark about John McCain: “I like people who weren’t captured.” It was disrespectful, yes. It was also a joke; a wisecrack, offered in response to Sen. McCain’s equally flippant dismissal of Trump supporters as “crazies.” Mr. Trump never stopped being an entertainer in his campaign. Though his approach went over the heads of the media, in one way it was genius: He basically stopped trying to convince anybody soon after his famous escalator ride in the Trump Tower in Manhattan. He figured out early that his voters didn’t need any more explanation or justification. His argument was completely embodied in “Make America great again” plus his outsize public persona. He only needed to keep his fans jollied up, and fired up, for the long wait ’til election day. The biggest embarrassment of this campaign has been the sodden pundits who kept insisting on taking oh-so-seriously his every remark. They never understood that Mr. Trump did not speak to lay out a platform. He was inventing almost daily a new episode of the 16-month Trump-for-president reality show to keep his audience from drifting off. Mr. Trump was defined by the liberal media as the angry candidate. A few of his fans obviously were looking for an aggressive outlet, but Mr. Trump was not one of them. His performance over the course of the race was nothing short of remarkable. A man of his years, in rally after rally, kept summoning the juice to give his fans the upbeat, improvisational show they were waiting for. The pantomime that was universally interpreted by the media as a parody of the disabilities of a New York Times reporter, his defenders pointed out, was actually pretty typical of how he mocks anybody whose words he wishes to satirize. His jokey monologue in the closing stage of the race about his struggles to stay on message was interpreted by some as a sign the pressure was getting to him. C’mon. He was engaged in meta hilarity at the expense of the unemployed campaign professionals who critique his efforts 24 hours a day on the cable channels. Then there was the vulgar Billy Bush tape. Ninety-nine percent of America that doesn’t work in a media company in midtown recognized instantly that it wasn’t two rapists discussing the finer points of sexual assault. It was one guy clowning for another on the subject of celebrity sex appeal. Peter Thiel, the Silicon Valley venture capitalist and auto-contrarian, stealing a line from the New York Post’s Salena Zito, spoke of voters taking Mr. Trump “seriously, not literally.” This was something the media should have understood earlier than it did. His immigration stance correctly identified the anxiety of less-educated Americans who’ve seen the economy pass them by. Even so, by the end of the campaign, he had talked them down to a policy roughly identical to Barack Obama’s and Hillary Clinton’s. His Syria policy is closer to Mr. Obama’s than Hillary’s: He doesn’t believe in spending American money and lives to sort out that country’s problems. None of this means Mr. Trump is actually prepared to be president, though he might be: Whatever his public persona, in his business life he has shown himself to be shrewd, flexible and capable of learning-especially from his own failed episodes of risk-taking. He is dismayingly indifferent to the accuracy of his facts. He doesn’t give two hoots about what many of us consider policy holies concerning NATO, nonproliferation, international trade, etc. His platform comes down to “trust me”-a remarkable mandate if you can pull it off. More than anything, though, this column criticized his unwillingness to do what was necessary to win. He kept doubling down unnecessarily on his fan base long after it would have been advisable to reach out to undecideds and assure them that he would not be a crazy or dangerous president. Indeed, it continues to be our suspicion that Mr. Trump took too long to begin taking his own presidential ambitions seriously. With his shocking win on Tuesday, now he will have to decide in his heart if the outcome was a colossal accident-or the hand of destiny. Ironically, had he lost and become a kibitzer on cable TV, Mr. Trump would have had to start thinking seriously about policy. Now he will have an entire government to help with that. Voters, perhaps shrewdly, saw him as better suited to being a leader than an adviser.