“Well, the good thing is, we don’t have to hear about the ridiculous Iowa caucuses for another four years,” tweeted a (perhaps snobbish) Californian this morning. Well, I understand the rap on our caucus process — rural, “flyover” state, mostly white, only a relatively small percentage of folks turn out, etc, etc, etc.
But, if you stood in the midst of very average, but extremely knowledgeable people of all ages (and, believe it or not, colors) in church basements, elementary school libraries, community centers, and saw their passion — and yet patience — with the admittedly messy process, I don’t think you would call it “ridiculous.”
Not unless you want to ridicule good people who are trying to make our democracy work. Iowans don’t claim to have the last word in this, or any, political season. But, we do have the first. There are all kinds of other contests, big state and small, north and south, primary and caucus. It will all shake out in due course. But, for now, we have had our say. And, to a person, the candidates are grateful for the way they are treated and the seriousness with which Iowans take their politics.
As to this year, the only surprise for me was Rubio’s surge. Our conservative evangelicals were sure to pick Cruz. Trump still brings out angry, disillusioned people who apparently will vote against their own best interests. I would have thought a Kasich, or even Rand Paul surge more likely than Marco, but there you have it. Now, if he could only return to his optimistic vision, personal story, and show up occasionally for Senate votes, he might be a real contender.
I knew Bernie Sanders would do well with our “lefter-than-average” Democratic base, but was surprised how well he did. If only he really could lead a “revolution” and turn over both Houses, this country would be infinitely better off. Again, I think that’s unlikely and will continue to support to “pragmatic progressive,” Hillary Clinton. But, I’m going to keep my eye on Bernie.
Maybe this country really is ready for a change…for a change!