Caucus Night in Iowa

By now, I’m sure that everyone (Iowans included) are more than glad that this day is finally here and we can stop hearing about the pros and cons of the Iowa caucuses, whether they should be first in the nation, whether the state is representative enough of the country to warrant such attention, etc. etc. etc.

As an “Iowan by choice” I have participated in many of these events and believe they do have a role to play in the overall process. It’s a good “winnowing” strategy — old fashioned, grass roots, face-to-face politics which, as yet, has not been totally ruined by the Supreme Court’s ridiculous decision to deem “corporations as people” and the vast increase of negative advertising to which this has led. Just wait until some of the real primary states!

True, Iowans are nowhere near as diverse ethnically as much of the rest of the nation. On the other hand, we are more diverse than some western states. More importantly, every socio economic strata is represented here from the very rich to the very poor. Every conceivable political position is represented here — from right wing evangelicals to the most liberal perspective possible (and not only in the “Peoples’ Republic of Iowa City!”)

As a “yellow dog Democrat” (one who would vote Democratic if our only candidate was an “old yeller dog”) I will miss the give and take of a “real” caucus this year — with folks making speeches, voting, dividing up into small groups for debate, etc. Yes, Elizabeth, it really does happen that way — in school rooms, church basements, town halls, etc across this amazing state.

We Democrats will gather in larger groups in fewer places, hear from our President over cyberspace, and begin to stategize on how we can assure four more years of an Administration which — despite the economic hole out which we had to climb and a cynical, gridlocked Congress — has made progress, if not totally fulfilled, every promise he made to the American people during his campaign.

Finally, while my doctrine of “original sin” is far too high to believe that Democrats are blameless or above the kind of corruption and petty politics we see all around, the Democratic platform at least seems to reflect much more completely the kind of “Kingdom values” I believe Jesus would have us uphold. And, while Christians can be “political” without being “partisan,” I find that increasingly difficult when faced with an opposition party which seems increasingly to embody the values of the “Empire” rather than the values of the Reign of God. 

And, whenever your state weighs in, don’t forget to vote!

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