Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Iowa Caucus: All This Fuss Over 28,000 Votes?!?

Just took a quick, curious glance at the returns from the Iowa caucuses and noted that the two leaders are virtually tied at 25 percent each (roughly 28,000 votes per candidate, a fourth of the population of Roanoke). Just four percent--120,000 people, which is more than 80,000 less than live in the Roanoke Valley as a whole--of Iowa's population took part in the process, which is not exactly an example of democracy. It is more like insider party politics and is virtually meaningless in the overall scheme of things.

At its base, the turnout means that one in four voters from a tiny sample in Iowa is pushing the national news media and all its hangers-on into public masterbation.

This whole exercise is a less than a curious joke, especially when we take something so totally without meaning or merit and re-cast it as something of overwhelming importance. Fewer than half of the winners of the Iowa caucuses in the past have made it to the nomination and Iowa is about as representative of the whole United States as is Puerto Rico. It is too white, too rural, too Protestant, too conservative and too employed to represent anything more than Iowa and, in this case, a small part of Iowa. Remember, Roanoke has nearly 100,000 people and I don't think anybody is going to look at Roanoke as the determining factor in a presidential race, even for a moment in time. It would be absurd--as is the Iowa caucus.

The whole notion of being first in these little vote vomits is an exercise in manipulation of power. All the caucuses and primaries should be held on the same day in June of the year of the presidential elections. The election season needs to be short, intense and a great deal less expensive. Now, we have a long, boring, repetitive and obscenely expensive primary season. One more little strike against our way of running a country.

(Photo: 34dems.org)

1 comment:

  1. I think News in general should be re-labled "Where's the herd today?" This week it's in Iowa and New Orleans. Over the weekend it was in Times Square. Next week it will be New Hampshire. Next month wherever the Super Bowl is. Follow the herd.