Kenwood Press

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Publishers' Corner: 02/15/2020

Cockeyed caucuses

Life could be worse. You could live in a state that has a caucus system in this year’s presidential primary. My sister went to Iowa one year to observe, and ended up totally bewildered at the set-up, and found it undemocratic in many ways.

Instead of voting by mail or walking into a polling place on election day, it’s more of a group participation event. Why this is a good idea is beyond me. The only thing that might attract me to hang out at someone’s house or the public library with a mob of people from my precinct is the food.

Pigs in a blanket? I’m there! Cheese tray from Safeway? I don’t believe in democracy that much! Throw some beer in and maybe I’ll come.

So you get to your caucus site and they lock the door or something like that. This never bodes well in scary movies. What could go wrong? You’re stuck in a room with a bunch of your neighbors talking politics. I’m sure we’ll all agree and end up holding hands.

You might as well bring up religion while you’re at it. All the Catholics stand over here, all the Muslims over here, all the Methodists over here. Oh and all you atheists go stand outside in the rain.

If your goal is to put an end to your annual neighborhood barbecue, you’ve come up with the perfect way to do it.

When the caucus starts, everyone shuffles around and sorts themselves into groups to “stand” with a particular candidate, kind of like trying to decide who to pick in dancing school, or for dodge ball.

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather be with the cool kids huddling over by the La-Z-Boy chair.

Then, apparently, the “coaxing and cajoling” begins where people try and persuade others to instead walk over and hang out with the Candidate Good Hair crowd instead of staying with the Candidate Short and Tubby group. I’m sure these discussions are very substantive.

To me “coaxing and cajoling” brings to mind the godfather Don Corleone asking for a favor or saying, “You can do anything, but never go against the family.”

And this system is a great way to learn things about your neighbors you may never have wanted to know. Going forward, you’re never going to lend your lawnmower to neighbor Bob after finding out that he supports a crazy whack job for your party’s nominee.

I’ll take the regular way of voting over a caucus. Now, you can even vote by mail and not even see your neighbors. And I can vote for a crazy whack job without anyone knowing! You gotta have some secrets. It’s the American way.

– Alec

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