This is shaping up to be a seminal year in American politics. What was unthinkable six months ago is emerging as a strong possibility today: Donald Trump may be on his way to becoming the Republican nominee for president of the United States.
His ascension is causing the party establishment - congressional leaders, high-toned conservative commentators and deep-pocketed right-wing money moguls - to go, as Sen. Lindsey O. Graham, R-South Carolina, put it: "bat-expletive crazy." Except he didn't say "expletive."
Their meltdown, however, is secondary to Trump's elevation to GOP front-runner and likely party standard-bearer in November.
But for goodness' sake, please note that it is not Trump who is placing the crown on his own head.
Republican voters in New Hampshire, South Carolina, Nevada, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Virginia and Vermont, and those in primaries and caucuses yet to come, are making Trump the heart of the "party of Lincoln."