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It Happened:

Donald Trump Is Officially the Leader of the Republican Party

Remember back in the day, when Donald Trump's bid for President of the United States seemed like a strange joke borne by reality TV ratings and social media likes? Well, that seems like a quaint, long-ago time when politics still had a shred of morals and citizens still had faith that the integrity of the body politic would weed out a blowhard, racist bigot long before ballots were actually cast.

In the past year, Donald Trump has gone from fringe element to frontrunner to leader of the Republican party at lightning speed. And tonight, at the Republican National Convention, less than 24 hours after his wife Melania Trump embarassed herself in front of the world for plagiarizing her speech, Trump accepted his party's nomination for the White House.

Announcing Trump's nomination for president, Chairman Paul Ryan said Trump received 1,725 votes — well over the 1,237 he needed. Ted Cruz received 475 votes, John Kasich got 120, Marco Rubio received 114 , Ben Carson got seven, Jeb Bush three and Rand Paul received two — a literal upside-down version of what pundits predicted back before the Iowa caucus.

"One man, Donald Trump, was not intimidated. He would not be silenced," said Alabama senator Jeff Sessions, among the first to endorse Trump, as he officially put Trump's name into the nomination. "He spoke the truth, he gave voice to the people's concerns, he said that the hyped trade deals have hurt America and hurt people, that our border must be secure and our nation must be strong, that we must defeat the terrorists who threaten us, that we must restore law and order and support our courageous law enforcement offices."

As Trump formally accepted victory, the words "Over the Top" displayed on the mega-screens in gold letters as fake fireworks went off around them. Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York" played at top volume as the real estate mogul and reality star became the leading member of the GOP.

There's no turning back now.