Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Should Iowa Caucuses Be Pushed To Back Burner

For as long as I can remember, the Iowa Caucuses and the state of Iowa have been allowed to be the center of our Presidential Primary process here in America though in reality, their being the center of attention only came about in 1972, with Republicans in the state following suit in 1976. Until then, they were at best a state that simply did not matter, and perhaps it is time we return to those days, rather than allowing them to garner the majority of the attention on the Presidential political stage as the Presidential kabuki dance unfolds every four years. Presidential pretenders and contenders beat a path to Iowa, spend vast amounts of their time there, the national media acting as if the state and its voters matter...but serious, do they? Does Iowa truly deserve all the attention they garner by insisting THEY GO FIRST? In a word, no.

First, Iowa (the entire state) has a population of less than 3 million citizens, which represents less than one percent of the population of the United States. Political pundits are telling us this week that only 125,000 citizens of Iowa will participate in the Iowa Caucus process. All this political attention given to a state where less than FIVE PERCENT of their citizens bother to participate despite all the attention they have received? The rest of us being told Iowa deserves all this attention because they take the process far more seriously than the rest of us do...HELLO, WE ARE TALKING FIVE PERCENT of their voters bother to show up. More importantly, those bothering to even attend the Iowa Caucuses that start at 7PM this coming week represent less than 1/10th of one percent of America!

We here in Mountaindale are a rural community, and if we had a coffee shop, sure all of us would love having a chat with say Mitt or Newt on politics, having Ron Paul or Michele Bachmann (OK, not Michele) coming into Ed's Mountaindale Inn for one of his cheeseburgers and a cold beer...I mean surely we deserve the same kind of Presidential Candidate attention that the citizens of Iowa receive? Sure, we are only a hamlet of less than six hundred people, but what about our state as a whole when compared to Iowa?

How about if New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio all hold our primaries on the same day, and IN JANUARY! We can call them the Pony Primaries. Surely that move would push Iowa back into the backwaters of political attention getting where they had resided for forever (well, forever until 1972), where perhaps they actually belong. Isn't it time to give equal access to the candidates to those of us living in states where we have FAR MORE VOTERS where the populations of our states represent more than just one percent of the people?

Let's be clear here...contrary to what Iowa and the pundits would have us believe, in the big picture of American Politics, Iowa should not matter, nor should we believe they are the predictors of just who we should vote for. Seriously...if they select Ron Paul as their torch bearer, should the rest of the nation fall into lockstep and follow their lead? Even if it is Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich, does it really matter, should the rest of us care that less than 1/10th of one percent of American voters like a particular candidate? Let's stop this nonsense, and lets end this charade that allows Iowa to be the center of America's political Universe for a full year.

By the way...based upon the candidates being offered up by the Republicans, Obama WILL GET A SECOND TERM...yes, that is my prediction.