For months now we’ve been hearing all about the Iowa caucus and how important it was. Well, this caucus thing that most of us don’t understand took place yesterday and before it ended it turned into a huge clusterf@ck!
I’m not going to try and explain caucuses other than saying they are claimed to be more democratic than the primary system used by Ohio and most states. On the face, it sounds like good old direct democracy where the citizens gather in a room and make their own laws rather than relying on elected representatives.
Well, as yesterday proved, there are problems with caucuses and one of them has to do with standing in front of your friends and neighbors and voting by holding your hand up rather than resorting to a secret ballot.
Consider having to stand before a group and openly admit that you support gays, favor abortion, support open borders, or that you are opposed to reparations for blacks. If you live in a place like Highland County, OH, otherwise known as Trumpland, what could be the consequences of shouting to the room that you think the guy should be in jail?
You see, that’s what happened yesterday in Iowa. Those who attended their local caucus had to openly announce who they supported and possibly argue why others should accept their choice. Before it’s over, everyone in the room knows who is wearing clean underwear and who’s not.
Now let’s add this to the stew. You’re a successful local businessman, you own the coffee shop on the corner and your customers are mostly not members of your political tribe. In a system that requires that everyone expresses their choice via a secret ballot, your business is protected from your views. In a caucus, it isn’t.
This is a real thing and I personally know a number of business people who live in fear that their customers, patients, or clientele ever find out their political ideologies.
The Constitution allows each state to run elections as they see fit but in my view, the caucus system is an old idea whose time has went.