As the news sinks in, the editorials are starting to come.
The news is that yes, it appears Donald Trump really is going to be the Republican nominee for president. He's collecting delegates, and that's what matters. With more states now holding winner-take-all contests, the question seems to be not "if" but "when": How long will it take for the Donald to get to the magic 50 percent plus one that means the nomination? And the answer, mostly because the Democrats have a proportionate system but also because Bernie Sanders is a stronger candidate than any of the Republicans facing Trump, is that he will likely be crowned, unofficially, well before Hillary Clinton is.
The editorials will come from establishment newspapers (this week it was the Los Angeles Times, calling him "unsuited") whose editors are clearly shaking their heads in disbelief that people, even if it's a plurality of a minority, are actually voting for this guy — for president. Of the United States.
Can it be that many Republicans have an easier time envisioning Trump as president than someone like John Kasich? Do they really see Trump working the phones to get the votes of junior congressmen, or spending hours with earphones listening to foreign leaders at the U.N., having the patience for detailed security briefings with no clear answers?
I know that's what the numbers say, but I just don't buy it. I've spent too much time doing primary politics to think for a moment that standing in the corner of a room in Iowa on a cold night is the same as voting for president in November.
Trump is an easy vote for anyone who is mad as hell and doesn't want to take it anymore. Send a message. Why not? Here is a guy who will say F-U to anyone. Here is a guy who doesn't clean up his act or watch his language; who dares to wonder if a woman is being tough on him because she's having her period; who wants to build a wall and keep the Muslims out. Voting for him in a primary is like listening to Rush Limbaugh on the way to work. Damn straight we're mad as hell.
Voting in a primary rarely feels like voting for president.
When my children were little, I would take them with me to vote. We went to the house around the corner, where our neighbors carefully checked us in and handed me a ballot. I told them that voting is a sacred trust, words that were probably meaningless to them but meant everything to me. It sounds silly and trite, but we take for granted a privilege people all over the world would give their lives for. And while there are lots of elections — midterms, county, city and municipal, and all the primaries for all of those — there is nothing like the Tuesday that comes every four years, when we as a nation go to the polls. I know, not everyone goes, and now that my kids are grown I mostly vote absentee, but it is still a special day, this civic high holiday when we exercise our sacred trust.
I know many people don't like Hillary Clinton, for good reasons and bad. And I worry: However qualified she may be, having an "unsuitable" opponent will make it easier for her to win — but also far more dangerous if she does not. I still hope the Republicans nominate Kasich for that reason, even though he'd be tougher to beat.
But at the end of the day, I have to believe that most Americans agree with me about the sacred trust. Voting for president, choosing the most powerful person in the world and putting our lives and our children's in their hands, is more than a "mad as hell" moment.
To find out more about Susan Estrich and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
Photo credit: DonkeyHotey