Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Confusing, yet very satisfying

"There was nothing "rigged" here. I came to caucus and that is where it all started. Simple as that."

I am really torn on something. Tonight is caucus night. It is an important night as now Minnesota is going to 1) be a part of Super Tuesday and 2) have a binding straw poll. National attention. This should be quite an evening except for one thing - very few people understand it. 

This morning, I received a call from a good friend of mine. He is not as old as I am, but he is no spring chicken either. Lived here almost his entire life. And he knew I was involved in today's caucus. On the phone he asked me if I had caucused yet. He thought it was an all day event - like a primary. And he is not the first person I have talked to that thought that. Caucus, primary - what's the difference? Many people feel that way.

After every two-year caucus event, the same question comes up. If this is so important to our grass roots politics (and it is), why is the turn out so low? One word - confusion. Here is a typical response I hear: "Hey, I vote! Why do I need to caucus also?" Or, "The system is rigged. The Party picks who they want anyhow." So in a precinct where you should get hundreds showing up, you might only get 6. And that is NOT the way our Representative Democracy should work.

I remember two years ago at the district convention. Someone who did not like the endorsement came up to me at break and asked, "So, who made you a 'king maker'?" He asked because I was a delegate, and he was not. And I was a delegate because I first went to caucus, became a delegate to the BPOU convention, and then was elected to be a delegate to district and then to state. So who made me "king maker"? He did. For not showing up. There was nothing "rigged" here. I came to caucus and that is where it all started. Simple as that.

Tonight is one of these freedoms we sometimes take for granted. This is the bottom of the roots of the grass roots. This is the chance for EVERYONE to be a stakeholder in our great Republic. It is the start of the journey that will last until the November elections are counted and tallied. People in many other countries would give their eyeteeth to have something like this. Yet it is ours. Free of charge, as the price has already been paid many times over.

Tonight, consider putting the DVR on record for the night. Come to caucus. Be a part of the process. Be involved. You will be amazed on how many quality people you will meet. The places you will go. Most importantly though, you can make a difference. Sometimes a little difference, once in a while a huge difference. 

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