Donald Trump may actually become the next president of the United States.
With Tuesday night's primary in Indiana now in the history books, Donald Trump has extended his delegate lead over his nearest rival, Ted Cruz. And just hours ago, in a relatively stunning announcement, Cruz himself has ended his campaign.
It is now guaranteed that one half of the November 2016 presidential election will be Donald Trump and whomever he selects as his running mate. Trump and Ohio governor John Kasich remain the final two contenders on the Republican side -- and there is zero chance of Kasich earning the nomination as he still trails behind even Marco Rubio (scroll down on this page), despite the latter's exit from the race nearly two months ago.
So a few significant questions remain, particularly on the Democratic side of things. The most obvious question is who Trump will be running against, but as Bernie Sanders has won the Democratic primary in Indiana, perhaps the more important question is what this does as far as Sanders' chances going into the final contests.
Clearly, the delegates Sanders won Tuesday are not going to cut into Hillary's lead by any appreciable amount, but there's something more important at stake: The heart and soul of the Democratic Party. A blog on The Huffington Post dated March 28 officially called on Hillary Clinton to forfeit the Democratic nomination to Bernie Sanders. At issue is the fact that the FBI may be on the verge of filing criminal charges against the Democratic front-runner over her private E-mail server and classified communications potentially stored on it.
There are a couple of ways this can potentially play out. First and most obviously, criminal charges could be filed. That should be a campaign-ender right there; however, the question remains whether or not Hillary would actually overcome her stubbornness and actually drop out, or if she would remain bull-headed enough to drag the entire party and her supporters through the mud right along with her as she fights the indictment.
Secondly, should the FBI not choose to indict Clinton, Trump and the Republican Party can still use the probe against her. Can a former Secretary of State who was the subject of a criminal investigation into the mishandling of top-secret material be trusted with national security? Did the Obama Administration refuse to indict her because of the fact she was President Obama's Secretary of State? The latter question in particular has the potential to add the stench of government corruption to President Obama's legacy, which could be immensely damaging over the next six months until Election Day. In the type of political climate the United States is facing -- a seemingly total rebuke of establishment politics on the Republican side and a revolt against the Clinton legacy and big money in politics on the Democratic side -- these are not the kinds of issues that any candidate wants to face going into a general election.
The Democratic Party, like it or not, is at the crossroads over where it wants the party to go in the future, as well as where it wants the nation to go. Should the party continue on its path to effectively anoint Hillary Clinton over the extremely vocal movement on the side of Bernie Sanders, they risk alienating the Sanders voting bloc for years. In particular, as Sanders can likely count on a large contingent of Independent voters, the Democratic Pary stands to lose much of that support should they anoint Clinton to the proverbial throne. Should this happen, the party will likely have a difficult time winning their support for a long time to come; after all, the message will have been that their views and opinions do not matter, as long as they get Big-Money Clinton into the White House.
And what does that say about the Democratic Party's ideas on where to lead the United States as a whole? Whether or not the DNC wants to admit or acknowledge the Sanders movement, there is a very loud, sizable chunk of the American public which is done with Hillary Clinton; they are done with her lies, her big money politics and ties to Wall Street, her war-mongering, her hypocrisy, and her "I don't give a damn, I'm going to be the first woman President of the United States" attitude. So while we witness the possible collapse of the Republican party as Donald Trump comes within striking distance of the White House, we may yet witness the disintegration of the Democratic Party should either Hillary be indicted, or the DNC continue its path to anoint her to the nomination in direct opposition to Bernie Sanders' political revolution. Whatever happens going forward, one thing is indisputable: American politics, and our two-party system, will never be the same again.