Today is like Christmas morning for both politicians and the many pundits creating a living around the American political process. This is the first campaign season that I have spent any time or energy following beyond the usual Stepford drift toward the democratic presidential nominee. In an attempt to better understand the process and each candidate as an individual, republicans and democrats a like, I have watched debates and news coverage, I’ve read articles, I’ve tweeted, blogged (here), and conversed with others about this crazy process. I am now officially convinced that, in another life, I would make a great political journalist. This stuff is better than reality TV, never mind the fact that this is ACTUAL reality!
One of the aspects that is most interesting to me is Iowa’s place as the jumpstart to finding our nominees. I don’t say that lightheartedly or with the intention to question why Iowa is our starting line, I find no fault or issue with this historical tradition. My interest lies with the people of Iowa, people that, from what I understand, hold this responsibility incredibly seriously. It is embedded into the culture of our Hawkeye state, they hold the key to the most important job in the world.
What I wonder is, at what point do the good people of Iowa get sick of being pandered to during each presidential race?
I read this article from MSNBC this afternoon, listing eight things on the minds of Iowa voters on caucus day. A quote that I found quite telling was:
“”I remember when this was a great country,” said 68-year-old Pat Toppins, who backed Trump. “Now, we don’t have any jobs. Our industrial base has been shipped out. Our health care industry is corrupt. Our children aren’t being educated. It’s almost as though this country has been abandoned.””
This country has been abandoned.
Later the article discusses that Iowans, and Americans in general are sick of feeling like they aren’t making it in this country, that they have been left behind. Abandoned. This is why Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are gaining ground and expected to walk away with a win in Iowa tonight. They are saying what people want to hear, but at what point will they be able to actually keep the promises they are making as they complete their 100-stop tour throughout Iowa? It’s the disingenuous nature of politics and campaigning that I struggle with, and I say that as a resident of the unimportant state of Michigan. The people of Iowa, New Hampshire, and most likely, South Carolina hold their responsibility in such high regard that I can’t imagine not being frustrated when you’re being treated like a number in a ballot box and not like the representation of the people of our country.
If the presidential election was held today, I’m not sure I would not be able to definitively say I support one candidate. There is not one individual that I would have the confidence in to go out and push for them to be the leader of the free world. I look forward to seeing who Iowa decides to put their trust into. I can’t help but hope that it’s anyone but the front runners for both parties. Can you imagine the press coverage tomorrow if Martin O’Malley and Rick Santorum came in first? Or even third? For entertainment’s sake, I hope Iowa pulls a fast one on us. I’m not sure what I’m hoping to see for the sake of our country. Any direction that Iowa points us will surely be interesting.
Happy Caucus night Iowa!
If you’re curious about what caucus means – check out this video that was part of Meet the Press yesterday, it was incredibly interesting and informative!