In a couple hours, the Iowa caucuses- or Hawkeye Caucii, if you prefer- will be starting, and that means we're off to the races for a new President.
Are we the only ones screaming WTF at this? Why on Earth does Iowa get to have such a crucial role in our electoral system. Why on Earth should a state with about a fourth of the people of L.A. County get the first say in who the nominees are? We'd really like someone to explain this to us.
But, oh, the history they'll say. It's always been done like this. Bullshit. This thing started in 1972. The Rolling Stones are more historic than the freaking Iowa Caucuses. Yes, while the fact remains is that while the whole primary system sucks (we should switch over to a regional system, but that's another post), but the Caucuses are especially horrible. Why? Because at least in the primaries, you can at least send in an absentee ballot. Not the Caucuses, no, they're far too elite for that. Nurses working the night shift? Fuck 'em. Single dads who can't get a day off from the plant? Fuck 'em. Soliders in Iraq or Afganistan? Fuck 'em.
It's like Patt Morrison said yesterday in the Times: this is like letting Glendale (whose, population, 200,000, is equal to what might be the turnout in Iowa today) decide who the nominees are for President. Of course, Glendale has greater diversity than Iowa, so that might not be such a bad idea.
So in conclusion- the nominees for President of the United States have a very good chance of being decided by around 200,000 white folks from the "Tall Corn State", while we, in the most populous state in the union, with the 6th largest economy in the world just sit tight and wait for them to decide. Yeah, we have a little more say this year due to our primary being in February, but let's be honest- we'll never have the influence that Iowans have. And is there a single good reason for it? No.
We need a stiff drink.
AP Photo by Dave Weaver