I didn’t sleep well last night. I was in the midst of the Iowa caucus all night, though I have no idea what I was doing. But I have been fascinated by the rhetoric and conflict leading up to this evening’s vote…and just now I saw on TV that Hillary is ahead of Bernie by a close one point, too close to call, but Cruz, with much lower numbers, leads Trump by three points and is the projected Republican winner. Marco Rubio is in a close third. Those are the “big name” candidates, the competitions that matter. And while I’m scared to death of Ted Cruz, I’m not displeased with the Democratic numbers. I was prepared to support either one of the two leading candidates. And I really like Martin O’Malley, who only got 1% of the vote. He’s made a lot of sense in the debates. He is expected to end his campaign tonight.
I read posts on Facebook today from people who were sick to death of hearing about Iowa and some who said, boastfully, that they hadn’t watched a single debate or caucus. I find that sad, because I think it’s the duty of every responsible citizen to keep informed and vote. The person who hadn’t watched a single caucus obviously doesn’t understand that Iowa is the only state that caucuses and it’s not something you watch, like a debate. An uninformed, uninterested citizenry is why we have most of the inept people in government that we do—no names mentioned, but I have strong personal opinions. I don’t care however how you vote—please just vote. (Okay, I care, but that’s not the point here.)
I went to college in a small (read really small) town in Iowa for two years and went back to the University of Chicago and home because insularity and 3.2 beer were too much for me. The only good thing I took away from Iowa was the notion of turkey sandwiches and blue cheese. It strikes me as strange, after fifty years or so, that Iowa, with its rural culture, looms so large on the political scene. But maybe that’s the reason—Iowans still tend to be close to the earth people with simple needs. I like the farmer I heard saying on TV that Hillary’s emails didn’t matter one bit to him—he was interested in what she would do for the ordinary citizen like himself.
So here we go, folks, into a campaign that’s liable to be as bitter and vitriolic as any in memory. Keep your hats on and your judgment clear. And, please vote! In the last presidential election, almost two-thirds of the eligible population didn’t vote because “my vote doesn’t matter.” It does.