We went to the caucuses tonight taking an elderly friend, and the church they were held at was packed. Attendance far outstripped previous years. The one guy in our precinct that had been steadily doing them for the past few years said that it was 7 times as many as had come out for the past 4 years.
This kind of turnout is probably going to scare a lot of entrenched political people. And that is a good thing. Our politicians seem like they need to be reminded that "We the People" are just asking them to take care of things while we live our lives. And I think there is a general groundswell of people thinking that the politicians are not doing what we want them to do and need to be reigned in.
This was an eye-opening experience, for us. We haven't been all that active and now that has changed. People really care about politics now. They know it is important and they realize they have to get in early. Our friend was complaining about how it was a shame that the caucuses and primaries didn't allow her to vote for any but the top favorite.
We had a list of questions/issues to go through, some where easy enough all for or against. And that is to be expected, but there were some that had some pretty strong debate. Most of us brought something to the table. We even had a judge and a lawyer that gave us insights on some issues that changed my mind about a few topics.
And then there were just a few issues that had us scratching our heads. "Did the other side write this one?" was the refrain heard a few times after reading it out loud a couple of times. They seemed to me to be trying to set the agenda rather then asking us what the agenda should be. One lumped 5-6 things together and no one was pro- or against- all of them. Really, whoever wrote these wants something particular to happen but that may not be what they want to hear. We voted against those not because we were confused but because we didn't like where they were going. The worrisome part is that, out of ignorance, you could be voting for something you didn't want. The candidate thinks he is getting support for something but once the details come out his base is not supporting it. And that is bad for him.
Al in all, this is going to be one of the more exciting campaign seasons we've had for a long time. 2004 was a stay the course or cut-and-run. Now it is obvious to all that some changes are needed, this election will decide a lot for the next decade or more.