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The Primaries Are Over. Why Haven't the 2016 Oddities Stopped?

There's not a lot that supporters of Donald Trump, supporters of Hillary Clinton, and supporters of a bright future for the United States of America agree about. Following my usual policy of fostering comity and mutual understanding, however, I am happy to have isolated one important bit of common ground that partisans of all stripes can agree on: this has been a very odd campaign season.

While that may not seem like much to work with, recognition of that oddity does contain a potentially fecund seed. Much depends on the exact valence of the relevant tense: it has been a very odd campaign. But does the oddity continue?

There is something about the disposition of most humans that encourages the belief that what is will continue to be. Our lives, we believe, will continue on tomorrow pretty much as they did today and the day before that. This election season was plenty odd -- the rise but not (yet) the fall of Donald Trump, the persistence of Bernie Sanders, the steady march forward of the scandal-encumbered wife of Bill Clinton. Amazing, isn't it?

But every step along the way the larger narrative has operated like a self-sealing fuel tank. No matter how seriously it was punctured, a gelatinous ooze of conventional wisdom was excreted to preserve the story we'd all agreed upon (didn't we?) before.

No matter how many primaries Bernie Sanders won, no matter what breaches of national security the FBI uncovered, Hillary was the agreed-upon nominee. Nothing was going to change that. Unless, of course, something does.