Tuesday, March 21, 2006
SorroMobile: Live at the Caucuses
I’m blogging tonight from the site of the Republican Party Caucuses. This is my first time actually going to a caucus, and I’m not even going to be going to them. How is that you might ask? It’s because I’m in the leadership for my Legislative District and as a result I’m not able to participate in my home precinct. Instead, I’m running a group of caucuses at a school north of where my caucus would be. What’s my job? I am in charge of making sure that my precinct chairs don’t let their meetings degenerate into Lord of the Flies-style chaos. It’s hard to believe that you’d have a bunch of people running around in loincloths and bashing each others heads in during a political meeting, but rest assured, it can and will happen. Nobody remembers the great Kansas Headbashing session of 1902, where Lars Gudenof beat Michael Allen to death with his peg leg, but you can rest assured that it did happen.
Caucus night is one of the great exhibits of democracy. You have small groups of neighbors (unless you live in Wyoming, they have one caucus for all 10 people that live outside Jackson Hole somewhere outside John Smith’s Ranch just outside Manville) gathering together to discuss who they want to represent them. Sometimes they get a bad name in relation to their bigger brothers, the primaries, but I think that when the Founding Fathers thought up this whole political thing, they had something like a caucus in mind. Of course, Philadelphia was only 20,000 people strong at the time, so there wasn’t a need for larger meetings and elections. Nevertheless, it’s high time that they get some press from somebody who’s not covering them in Iowa, home to the most famous of caucuses and Howard Dean’s infamous Yeaugh! Bus Tour 04.
I know that there are quite a few people out there who love to gripe about their lousy leaders but don’t want to do anything to actually oust them, and the caucus is not for you. Instead a caucus is for those who actually want to influence their government. Unless you live in Florida, one vote usually doesn’t mean much. Of course there are instances where that isn’t the case, but in general, your vote in a general election means less to the governance of this nation than (insert colorful metaphor here). This is completely different in a caucus. Here the individual is king. You can actually play kingmaker, instead of just seeing it done on TV. You can run for offices that give you even more power, where you can go to conventions and vote on nominees for your party. It’s actually a great deal. You can then use that to influence your local governance further. If you’re looking at getting into politics, there is no easier way than the caucus. Everybody had to start somewhere, and if you don’t have oodles of money lying around to buy an election, you can start at this level and get some name recognition, then climb up the rather long ladder to the Presidency.
I really don’t have a point here (well, other than go and do this caucus thing). I thought it’d be interesting for someone out there to get a feel of what the deal is with a caucus without actually being there, and now I have.