The end of the early season, mercifully; can we be nice to each other again?

Today marks the final big day of primary season. We still have the Washington, DC, primary coming up next week, but with primaries in New Jersey, California, and several smaller states today, we're getting ready to move into conventions.

It's been a month since Donald Trump became the only candidate running on the Republican side. He's had a contentious ride, and GOP leadership isn't going to make it any easier on him heading into the convention; presumably into the election.

Hillary Clinton will come out the Democratic nominee. The Dems' super-delegate system was put in place to ensure that party brass got to weigh in to the tune of about 30%. And why not? The US was chartered as a republic, not as a democracy. And Bernie Sanders isn't really a Democrat — he lost that party's Senatorial primary in Vermont and serves his constituents as an independent. I can only assume he's chosen to run as a Democrat because it gives him a bigger platform.

That's also why we have the electoral college — in case the voters went weird, there would be some people with some political insider status who could make sure the person elected is suitable to serve.

Fun fact: Members of the electoral college aren't bound. We want to think they are, but what happens is each party picks a slate of electors, and the party that wins the popular vote in a state has its electors cast their electoral votes. If, in November, Massachusetts votes for Clinton, the Democratic Party's slate of 11 electoral college members will cast their ballots. Typically, we assume they'd vote for Clinton and typically they would. But if someone decides he's a Martin O'Malley fan, Clinton would get 10 electoral votes in Massachusetts and O'Malley would get one.

I don't know if it's that Facebook and Twitter have become more popular since 2012; they certainly have expanded their reach since 2008. I don't remember us being this bad to each other. There are people on Facebook I haven't "unfriended," but their use of insult as a debate tactic is so bad that I'll never see their posts about anything awesome they do in the future; they're gone from my timeline and it's too exhausting to weed through and put them back in.

This race has certainly brought out the worst in a lot of people. At some point in the not-too-distant future, I think we're going to need something in the way of more radical change. At the rate it's going, the middle class will be a vast minority by the 2024 election. Inasmuch as "40 acres and a mule" was an actual dream for several days (look it up), it was supposed to represent a status to which we could all rise.

Among Trump's supporters are dangerous people who make death threats. Some of Sanders' supporters have been violent at times. We forget that, at the beginning, when there were 16 Republican candidates and three Democratic candidates, a lot of people couldn't decide which way to register so that they'd vote for Sanders or Trump — despite Sanders' decades in national politics, they were the "outsider" candidates on either side. Outsider enough that if Sanders runs on a third-party ticket, he might take enough votes from both Trump and Clinton that no one gets the necessary majority of electoral votes.

If we don't stop treating politics like sports in the U.S. — hating the other team for the jersey they wear — we're headed down a long, dark road.

More: The presidential race and the problem with politics in the US »

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