Monday, January 2, 2012

The Iowa Caucus 2012

We’ve reached the end of this Iowa caucus season, and it’s weird sitting on the sidelines as a registered Democrat, watching the GOP make a circus out of their weak candidate pool.

As the caucus results pile in tonight, I’m a little relieved that they’ve chosen from their moderate candidates, Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney. Ron Paul’s candidacy proves once again that he has solid support from his loyal constituents but little in the way of mainstream acceptance.

I get the libertarian slant.

The “weed should be legal” rallying cry gets you all interested in college, and then you get caught up in the entire heavy fuckin’ fee of freedom and the existential thoughts of what America would look like with a Libertarian president.

Personally, I’m still close with the idea that government has a vital role in its relationship with its citizens. I believe that we do occasionally need to monitor our distribution of wealth and support some people who are at risk or in need of temporarily assistance.

If I believed our behaviors all aligned in that way, then the idea of outside regulation wouldn’t be necessary. But the simple fact that we are human and that history has proven that we often don’t possess the empathy to help each other makes it hard for me to dismantle our government’s vital role as a support network.

Without it, the landscape looks a whole lot meaner and stacked against the common face of its citizens.

Don’t believe me? Then explain why the gap between the poorest in our country and our wealthiest is a Grand Canyon of divide with deregulation.

Throughout this campaign, I struggled with understanding how the GOP candidates could ignore this fact and contend that the gap between our wealthy and poor needs to expand further. I question how any who has no reasonable chance to benefit from this hyper-extended trickle-down theory can support such a candidate.

To see the candidates the GOP presented was disheartening.

To see that Iowa Republicans put the wackjobs towards the back of the bus was reassuring.

You really had to live in the state to get a full sample of how ridiculous the campaigns air attack was. From Rick Perry’s nutty baiting of our state’s fair share of Christian conservatives to Romney’s carpet-bombing attack ads (a decision that probably contributed to his poor showing in ’08 and will probably push Santorum to the top in ’12) against his own Republican counterparts.

Will our results here in Iowa tonight be a mirror of the national convention?

We’ll see.

But at least our last-minute swing to sanity and the return of the archetypical GOP candidate will hopefully put another nail in the mean-spirited views of that party’s fringe members trying to take it to the national level.

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