Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Why is the Iowa Caucus so important?

For some reason, Iowa gets to go first when it comes to the United States’ national primary process. And for some other reasons, it didn’t go so well here in 2020. Words like chaos, debacle, and ‘unmitigated disaster’ seem quite popular to describe it. As an ‘Average American,’ with no connection to politics or the campaign industry, here’s my take on it.

Who cares.

As someone who does NOT live in Iowa, or #2 New Hampshire, I have always felt baffled and bitter that these two states - for no rational reason that I can discern - get to narrow the field of candidates before I even have a chance to voice my opinion. 

In some ways, the Iowa issues have leveled the playing field a tiny bit this year. There’s no clear ‘winner’ that the media can then crown with statistics for the next week. This uncertainty is going to - gasp - force people to pay more attention to the entire field of candidates. 

Perhaps this ‘mistake’ is a blessing in disguise. People are talking about this being the ‘straw that broke the camel’s back,’ and I hope it is. I hope this is the end of our ridiculous staggered primary system. Because having my primary vote actually count for something sounds like a step toward a shorter campaign cycle and better democracy. 

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