The political beast


I’ve never been very political in my life, and I’ll apologize in advance for this brief foray into political content here. I promise to get back to minutiae very, very shortly.

In 2000, my ballot was marked with a mostly Democratic ticket, but I really have to admit that I didn’t have any strong feelings in either direction* (still, with the benefit of hindsight it helps to know I voted for the good guys). Certainly, though, circumstances have changed drastically in the meantime, and this year that’s meant doing a lot of things that would have seemed over my head in the past: donating money to political campaigns, chatting & debating politics with friends, filling out petitions, and simply following the national scene more closely. All this, and somehow I found myself in a high school cafeteria way too early on Saturday morning, to caucus for the Democratic presidential nominee in 2004.

The scene was chaotic; loud and crowded, with not nearly enough room for the turnout, one thing was made perfectly clear: Democrats are mobilized and ready to get out the vote in large numbers. Beyond that, though, there wasn’t much of a united front. Also, with so many first-time participants, the arcane caucusing process frustrated many, including our well-meaning but befuddled precinct chair. Still, it was a fascinating learning process and I was happy to chat with some other young, energized people about what needs to happen to get this country back on the right track.

In the middle of all this, somehow managed to get elected as a delegate for Howard Dean to the legislative district caucuses on May 1. I guess that means we get to do this all over again in a few months (and even got a cute little certificate in the bargain!).

As for the results, I guess it’s frustrating that our guy did so poorly in this state, one which we thought was a stronghold for his campaign. Still, for better or for worse, it seems that a lot of people are hung up on this idea of “electability.” I won’t get into that, since others have already done so. Still, I don’t blame anyone for their choices, and likewise hope they respect that I personally think the electability argument is pretty thin.

And just in case 2000 didn’t teach you a lesson, every vote does count — if I’d slept in, Dean would probably have ended up with two delegates from our precinct (instead of three). Democracy in action, indeed!

* I could lie and tell you the reason I voted for Gore was because I felt guilty that I had caused him to spill coffee all over himself while shaking his hand. This actually happened! But it wasn’t why.

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