I went to the Colorado Democratic Caucus last night. I went because I give a shit. Because I think it's important to take part in the politics of our time. Because I'm an Eagle Scout, and as such I took an oath to do my best to do my duty to God and country. It was a madhouse- the line at the school where the caucus took place was very, very long. Out the door and around the block long. I got in line just before seven, but didn't get into the building until well past seven thirty. There were literally hundreds of people, standing in the cold, waiting patiently to participate in the nominating process. This was, to me, very exciting. I have seen and read many reports about how voter participation, on the democratic side, is way down this election cycle. It has always bugged me that we, as a nation, seem to find it really hard to get our asses to the voting booth. But here were all these folks, young and old, standing outside for almost an hour on a chilly early March night, standing up and being counted.
It made me wonder: are all these reports about how nobody votes a bunch of crap? A concerted effort by the powers to be to con us all into believing that the reason the corporate overlords are in charge and fucking everything up is that we just didn't get out and vote?
Anyway, once we finally got into the school to do our duty, we were greeted with long lines, huge crowds of people confused about how to proceed, and what seemed to be an unending supply of helpful fellow citizens, each with their own theory on where we should go, what was happening, and why that person who spoke just before them was full of crap.
It was a good time.
Eventually, we found our way to our precinct's room. You see, in the area where I live, the powers that be thought it would be smart to combine all the precincts caucuses a bit; to have them all take place in the same building. The result was more annoying than trying to cross mid-town Manhattan east to west during the Macy's Thanksgiving parade. Lots of confused folks, slowly losing their good feelings for showing up, and trading those feelings for righteous indignation. Yummy. It made me think of the Caucus Race song from Disney's Alice in Wonderland.
Forward, backward, inward, outward
Come and join the chase
Nothing could be drier
Than a jolly caucus race

Backward, forward, outward, inward
Bottom to the top
Never a beginning,
There can never be a stop

To skipping, hopping, tripping fancy free and gay
Started it tomorrow
But will finish yesterday

'Round and 'round and 'round we go
Until forevermore
For once we were behind
But now we find we are be-

Forward, backward, inward, outward
Come and join the chase
Nothing could be drier
Than a jolly caucus race
But we did get there, eventually. It was about eight thirty when my precinct finally voted. Then we had to wait while they counted the votes, so that we could determine how many delegates would go to each candidate. Then we had to vote on who should be the delegates, and who should be the alternate delegates. Then we voted on who we wanted to be the Denver D.A. Why this particular vote was at the caucus is beyond me, but there it was. After that, we had to vote on who would be the two people from our precinct to be on the precinct committee. By this time, it was almost ten. There was this one lady who seemed to think that the best way to convey her ideas was to shout/scream everything she said. She spoke a lot. Most of what she said was a bit incoherent, but she seemed to feel whatever it was she was feeling quite strongly. A lot of people split once the voting on presidential candidate was over- that was around nine. I am sure the town crier figured in their decision to leave.  But we stayed. We took part. We earned, in my opinion, the right to complain about politics.
And all in all, I think it was worth it. What did I miss out on, by being there for a few hours? Some tv watching? Surfing the net? In those few hours, I met a bunch of neighbors I had no idea existed, talked about Bernie and Hillary and the Drumpf
The whole time, even at it's crankiest, I was in awe of people. We are a strange species, to be sure, but there are times when I look at us- determined, full of advice for others, moving like cattle towards uncertain destinations- and for a reason I am not sure I understand, I feel hope.
PS- I feel the Bern, very strongly- but I will vote Democratic no matter who gets the nomination. I like Hillary a lot, I just like Bernie a little more.


Great take on your caucus Kelly. I had a very similar and enlightening experience myself and can totally relate to your Alice in Wonderland analogy!

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