Here we are on Super Tuesday and since I have children, I am left out of the American democratic electoral process in a way that I have never felt left out before.
In case you don’t know, Colorado is one of many states that is using a caucus system to begin the process of selecting both a Democratic and Republican candidate for the office of President of the United States (an election that won’t take place for nine more months). The caucus is basically a community meeting where registered Democrats (in one venue) and Republicans (in another) get together and apparently talk about the candidates on the slate then vote both for a candidate they support and one or more delegates to represent that district in the state convention.
Problem is, if you can’t attend the evening event, you can’t have your voice heard and you can’t vote. And so for the first time since I was of voting age, I am sitting at home unable to raise my hand at the appropriate moment and support my candidate.
Why can’t I go? Because I have little children and they need to go to bed: rhythm and a schedule are critically important – with my kids, at least – for us to all have a pleasant evening and for tomorrow to be smooth and easy, not plagued with zombie exhausted kids and cranky parent.
But even if they did it at 4pm it still galls me that I need to be present, to hang out, to participate in a manner that the local party officials deem necessary for a democratic vote to transpire.
Me, I’d rather have had a mail-in ballot. Or at least have one as an option!
It’s so weird that as recently as this morning I was still asking people to explain the caucus system to me because I just couldn’t believe that I had to participate in a meeting to have my voice heard. But that’s exactly how it works, and I can only wonder just how many working people, how many parents of young children and how many tired people want to raise their voice and be heard, but cannot because of the requirements of participation and presence.
And so, I can only say that I would have cast my vote for Barack Obama in the end because I really dislike and am suspicious of Hillary Clinton. (I mean, why the heck did she stay with a philandering husband? Situation reversed, I wouldn’t have stayed with an adultering wife, that’s for sure)
Meanwhile, am I the only one unimpressed with the caucus?