We Wish You a Merry Caucus

Jimmy-Carter-plateI’ll be glad when the Iowa Caucuses are over, because that means the political ads will be over, too. Rather than being subjected to the unbridled onslaught of political vitriol, I look forward to learning about the merits of seed corn and herbicide varieties. That’s the usual Iowa-specific advertising fare this time of year.

I moved to Iowa too late for the 1988 caucuses, so I first learned about them in 1992. I thought the process was nuts and I longed for the open primary of my native Wisconsin. But live in Iowa long enough and you learn to, if not love, at least appreciate the caucuses. The Feb. 1 caucus will be the fourth presidential caucus I’ve participated in here in my adopted state.

Over the years I’ve seen and heard candidates up close and personal — in small auditoriums, a high school gymnasium, college meeting rooms, and in the middle of Main Street. And I have to admit, that is pretty cool. I’ll likely continue to participate in the Iowa Caucus ritual. It’s like the Lotto — you can’t win if you don’t play.

In any case, I wish you a merry caucus if your state has one. Otherwise, have a happy primary!

Laura Sternweis

P.S. The Iowa Caucuses were a boost to Jimmy Carter in 1976. This up-close-and-personal illustration is from my presidential collector plate.

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