Unless you’ve been living under a rock, in a cave or have been lost in the jungle and away from all forms of media (in which case I envy you so), you know the Iowa Caucuses were held last week. What should’ve been the first step toward thinning the literal herd (gaggle?) of Democrats running for POTUS against a common orange enemy turned into what political experts typically call, “a total fucking shitshow”. This doorknob hump of a voting event is a prime example of how American elections are flawed to such an extent that we’ve come to exist in a Twilight Zone-esque hellscape, held hostage by a super dumb minority. So what’s wrong and how can we fix it?I’m glad you asked! Let’s walk through this together!
Kate, what’s a caucus? Is it a wiener thing?
Ha, I wish! Before every Presidential election, several candidates are narrowed down to two (for Republicans and Democrats, we aren’t covering 3rd party crap today because I have other shit to do) via Primary elections. Each state holds a primary election and whoever wins goes on to become that party’s Presidential Nominee.
Sounds simple, right? Well, Iowa fucking hates simple, you guys. Iowa is the Toddler in Tiara of primaries.
Ok, so how does the stupid dumbshit Iowa Caucus work?
In short, stupidly. Here we go:
1. Registered Dems gather at a bunch of local precincts (high school gyms, some guy’s basement, etc.) and no shit, “congregate toward each other” to form a group. For example, the Berners in one corner and the Warren-Gs in another, while the Klobucharizards stand on the table, the Biden-Our-Times sit on the stairs, etc. (picture)
2. If a group’s number is below 15% of all attendees, their candidate is “out”, so the members must decide on another candidate to support (but not Tulsi Gabbard, ok?).
People in the corners of candidates who are still considered viable will try all sorts of crazy shit (even bullying) to bring the newly candidate-less voters onto their team. If you think I’m kidding, check it out:
There’s one holdout for Warren while everyone else at this location is a Berner. The Berners thought they might change her mind and entice her to join them by photographing and making fun of her. For voting. For voting for someone who is technically on the same team, in the same political party. It happened in person, but continued online for a while:
Nobody should be bullied like they’re 12 year old Michael Cera playing dodgeball in 7th grade gym for VOTING, Iowa.
3. Process 2 is repeated until people stop moving and only one or two candidates are left. Most people don’t get to cast their ballot for the candidate they came to support, and this is still considered voting somehow.
4. Whoever has the most people in their corner at the end of the process (the end of the day) gets all the delegates from that precinct. The results are given to the Party Chair and whomever has the most delegates “wins”.
If this process sounds like it was conceived by Satan to screw progressives because he knew we would definitely fuck up counting people in a gym, you’re absolutely right but there is no prize except for sadness:
What the fuck happened here? How did counting nerds in a gym become an Uwe Boll movie?
Apparently there was a new app created to send precinct results in to the Iowa Democratic Party headquarters, replacing the old method of just calling in the final tally. I know this is hard to believe, but Iowa isn’t known for being a Midwestern Silicon valley.
Maybe Sili-CORN Valley? I hate myself.
When it came time to send in results, party reps either couldn’t download the app or just couldn’t figure out how to use the damn thing. When results were being reported, there were obvious errors and some precincts ended the night without being able to report at all. It is now it’s nearly a week later and the results are sorta in, but not 100%:
It looks like Mayor Pete won by the peach fuzz on his chinny chin chin with Bernie coming within and old man’s grasp of the little guy. Mayor Pete must be (insert puberty joke here because he is very young). Congrats, King of South Bend!
(something about balls not having dropped yet or whatever)
Picking a nominee this way is so, so dumb you guys.
Why does Iowa hold a caucus and not a regular primary vote? Great question Greg (you sorta feel like a Greg to me). You see Greg, back in the 60’s and 70’s, party chairpersons in Iowa believed that holding a caucus instead of a primary would keep rural voters (i.e. whites) involved by giving them as much voting power as those in more populous areas. It’s the old, “white people in the middle of nowhere hold just as much influence over election results as literally just more people” trick! America has been pulling this shit for a couple hundred years now, while keeping real Democracy behind its back*. More on how straight up bullshit this is later*
Iowa: “I bet you thought Florida was dumb, LOL”.
I’ve always asked myself, “Why is Iowa first?” and Why does Iowa seem so important?”, and “Who is my biological father?”. Here’s the answer to the first two questions, because the other one is too much of a thing to get into right now –
Iowa is first BECAUSE their caucus is so stupid and unnecessarily complicated. Picking a presidential nominee this dumbass way made it take much longer to calculate results than it did in normal states who just straight up vote, so Iowa pushed its way to the front of the line with the “we need more time to count our whites” logic. Here’s a real life depiction of this in action:
But Is Iowa a big deal? It feels like a big deal…
The Iowa Caucus is the first voting contest in the nation, thus receiving a huge amount of media coverage. This gives candidates incentive to build their entire election strategy around the Cornhole State. Barack Obama even credits his Iowa caucus win for catapulting him to the White House.
The attention given to Iowa by big news networks implies that Iowa is a litmus test for candidate electability. The reality of how much Iowa matters is blown way out of proportion. You think you’re hot shit, Iowa? Calm tf down. Let me explain why you’re Nicole and NOT Paris:
Only 15% of eligible caucus voters (those registered with the Democratic or Republican parties) participate in this bullshit circus – seeing as how they almost never get to vote for the candidate they like, I can understand why this number is so low. Only 62% of caucus participants got to vote for their candidate of choice, dictating the primary results of a state with less than 1% of the US population. Iowa is also painfully white, and it’s not a fair or accurate representation of our nation or the Democratic party AT ALL.
“But Iowa predicts who will win the nomination, right? Nobody can win without Iowa. people tell me!”
Actually, Iowa’s winner goes on to be the party’s nominee less than half of the time.
Yes Kate, I see now that all of this is very, very stupid, but why is Iowa a problem?
Iowa is just one example of how mind-blowingly dumb and corrupt America’s elections are. Holding elections this way results in the minority population winning, which is not how Democracy is supposed to work. Additionally, the experience people have in states like Iowa leaves them with feeling like their vote doesn’t matter, so why bother? It makes complete sense that this country has a huge voter apathy problem.
So basically, Iowa is American politics boiled down to a small contest.
Think about it. The Iowa method is everywhere: Take the US Senate – each state gets 2 Senators, so Arkansas dipshits John Boozman and Tom Cotton (don’t they just SOUND like Arkansas?) represent 3 million people and have exactly as much control over our federal laws as California Senators Kamala Harris and Diane Feinstein, who represent 39 million. The current Republican Senate majority represents 153 million Americans while the “minority” represents 168 million.
The Electoral College is similar, in that instead of the too rational “person with the most votes is who wins” model, our votes are actually counting towards who wins the state. Each state has a number of Electoral College votes based on population, and the candidate winning the majority of THOSE votes get to be President. This is unfair because ultimately a few states that don’t vote consistently the same way get to choose who runs the country for the next four years. These states are for , one vote in , and as a result there have been 2 TERRIBLE presidents in my lifetime that lost the popular vote but somehow still got be in charge of/ruin a ton of shit:
The Iowa caucus, US Senate makeup and Electoral College are all based on the idea that land area deserves to vote the same as actual living, breathing people do, and that is fucking stupid, you guys.
Is there any way this could be even worse than it already sounds?
YES YOU FUCKING IDIOT.
It’s a vicious cycle. Caucuses, the Electoral College, the Senate makeup – these all lead to voter apathy, but hey, remember that thing about the minority ruling over the majority?
Meet the minority:
Say what you will about stupid people, racists, religious zealots, the elderly – they might be ignorance personified, but they ROCK THE VOTE.
They also know that we outnumber them nationally, so it’s in their best interests to hold onto power like a gorilla with a baby blah blah blah
The people that are in power know that if everyone votes and our votes are all equal, they’re outta here. So how do they keep that from happening?
Voter suppression, which includes purging POC voter registration for totally non-legit reasons or passing really stupid voter ID laws specifically designed to keep minorities and the poor from casting ballots.
Election fraud and interference – The guy from the Apprentice has literally admitted to this on TV, but we couldn’t remove him from office because of the minority ruling in the senate.
How do we stop this political legion of doom?
The only way is to vote no matter what the obstacles are or how hopeless you might feel about it. We have to vote in numbers that can’t be fucked with.
I know it’s hard to feel motivated when you honestly think it won’t matter in the long run, but this is exactly how they want us to feel. If we believe this, nothing changes except corrupt politicians becoming bolder and dumber and more corrupt. Do you want people like this making laws for you?
Well then vote, you fucking asshole.
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