Following Donald Trump’s sweep and Hillary Clinton’s 4-out-of-5 wins in yesterday’s primaries, I am ready to concede that South Dakota’s primary won’t matter. Connecticut, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland all gave the Republican celebrity billionaire majorities. Trump needs less than half of the remaining delegates to reach the 1,237 needed to win the nomination, while Ted Cruz and John Kasich have no mathematical path to that magic threshold. Bernie Sanders at least won Rhode Island, but he would have to win 81.5% of the remaining delegates to reach the 2,383 needed for the Democratic nomination. Even Sanders knows the Presidency is out of his reach. Either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton will be the next President of the United States.
Majorities in both parties are rejecting the candidates I prefer (or, in the case of the GOP the candidate who at least sounds tolerable). Both parties are embracing a name. My party is choosing pragmatism over idealism, choosing the candidate they think can win over the deeper conversation we need to have. That choice is unpleasant but not unreasonable. The Republicans have hit the self-destruct button, choosing madness over mediocrity and fascism over four more years of Clinton.
The Clinton and Sanders campaigns are sending speakers to the South Dakota Democratic Party’s McGovern Day dinner Saturday. I can only hope that Rep. Tim Ryan from Ohio won’t gloat too much on behalf of Clinton and that he and whoever the Sanders campaign sends will focus their commentary on how their candidates will mobilize their supporters to get South Dakotans to vote for Paula Hawks, Jay Williams, us Democratic Legislative candidates, and the right ballot measures (reminder: Yes on 21, 22, 23, R, T, V!… and I might have to drop 23, just so the chant has better rhythm: 21, 22, R-T-V!).
I won’t get to cover any big Presidential primary campaign rallies here in Aberdeen. We’ll also see less of Larry David on Saturday Night Live. But I will recapture my enthusiasm with the glorious prospect of running against Republicans who must now face the shame and humiliation of carrying Donald Trump as the billionaire fascist face of their party.