Where to start? This was a mixture of learning, excitement, disgust and hope. Let me start from the begining and just tell this the best way I know
how; as a story. But a true one.
Washington State Republican Caucus 2012
My interest in politics has always been, shall we say, one of a good debate. You know, sitting around the dinner table with my Dad when I was a teen
and unable to vote yet, to a good debate over the phone now as an adult. I like to complain. It is
the American way. I like to think I am
good at it. I can find all sorts of things to complain about and discuss at length in politics begining with saying how much I dislike it. Do you
know how many times I have voted for a president though? Twice. I am forty. That is unacceptable. I should have had my debate/complainer
privileges revoked years
ago. I voted first when I was 18 in 1989 for Dukakis. The second time was in the last election. I got so disgusted
during that time that I changed to non-partisan and voted for Ron Paul (I wrote his name down). Being in Washington State and that the president was
already pretty much elected by the time we even got to the polls, I figured what the hell.
This year has been different. For the first time ever, I have taken the time to educate myself on not only the topics but the candidates. Not the
fluff you get from the headlines either, but the real
stuff. You know what I'm talking about. I think, that like so many of us Americans, I
am scared. Scared of what is happening to this country and of what is yet to come. The only
candidate I see offering an exit on this highway
to hell is Ron Paul. It will still be a bumpy ride, but at least it won't be a dead end.
Even though I have been following his campaign and watching the results ....the only
way I found out about my own caucus here in Washington
State was due to a phone call I got last week from a Ron Paul supporter. I think he was surprised (or maybe not) when instead of hanging up on him I
thanked him for calling. Our local paper just had an Associated Press article regarding it a couple of days ago, with a very small headline hidden
amongst the other dull, un-important stories. The last two days I tried searching around some other local government websites trying to find which
district/precinct I belong to. I seem to have misplaced my voters card (actually, I vaguely remember throwing it out, swearing to never vote again).
The County and State websites both directed me to the same page where you input your info to get it. Only problem was, I needed my precinct # and in
order to get that, I had to put in my precinct name. I hadn't a clue. So I finally found it yesterday on a you guessed it! Ron Paul website. It
also had my local caucus location, so thank-you very much to the only campaign that seems to care about giving the power back to the people. I know,
I know, that is a scary thought.
Our local Goernment didn't give accurate information on how to vote and our paper had absolutely ZERO info on where/how or when to do it!
So this morning I eagerly arrived at my local caucus location (our High School) not really knowing what to expect.
The only info given out locally was that the caucus was from 10 am to 2 pm. If not for the Ron Paul campaign I would have not had a clue that I
needed to get there before
ten. (you are suposed to be registered and in the room before ten. They are suposed to then lock the doors and get
underway. Most people thought you could get there to vote anytime from 10-2) When I walked up to the main entrance, the only
indicator that I was in the right place, were the two Ron Paul signs stuck in the dirt on either side of the entrance. "Yes
", I thought.
There were no other signs. Nothing on the reader board, nothing on the doors...zip. Nada. Just inside there was a table with a very tired looking
woman in her 70s to tell me which room to go to. None of the sheets had my precinct name on them, but a young man who happened to be walking by with
some chairs told me I was in room 102.
Turns out his name was John and he was also in my precinct. He was also a Ron Paul supporter. When I first walked in the room, there were about six
long tables set up, the one nearest the door had sign-in sheets. John told me to be sure to sign in. I looked at the 8 different identical sheets
laying out on the table and was going to select one at random when he put one in front of me and said to sign that one. I later discovered that they
were each for a different precinct whithin our district.
After filling in my info and the last box that asked which candidate I preffered, I looked up. To my surprise I was in the company of over forty
other people.....all of them around the same age or older than my parents! I would guess that the average age in the room was no less than 60. I
looked back down at the other forms on the table and saw that most of them had written in either Romney or Santorum. So. The rumors are true. I
then wandered into the room and stood near the front since there weren't any chairs left. It took a few minutes, but again thanks to John I
discovered that I had to sit at the table with my precinct (which was the one that had the sheets on it and that John was sitting at with the only
four other younger voters). He found a chair for me and I settled in to be educated on how this all worked (because what I had read didn't prepare
I won't bore you to death. It was quite ridiculous. There was a PCO for each precinct who ran the caucus at their table. We voted in a secretary,
handed around an info sheet on issues, asked if there was anything anyone wanted to debate or change. We couldn't vote on delegates until 10:30am
and since our table was the only one that knew how it all worked and the only table with Ron Paul supportes, we just waited. Some of the other tables
had some lively talk, but they obviously didn't understand the process.
When 10:30 rolled around there was a simple action at our table of a show of hands for who wanted to be a delegate. I motioned we just accept them
and it was done. Both our delegates and back-ups were all Ron Paul supporters. Unfortunately, I was able to sit and look through the total caucus
votes since the sheets were just left laying out on the table in front of me. Here is how it broke down:
Ron Paul: 7
There were a total of 47 people in that room. Do the math. Some of the people did not write in a candidate. Some wrote in two candidates. Some
signed in on two sheets and voted twice, voiding their votes. The only ones that I know will stick are the Ron Paul votes, because John went through
and corrected anyone who had signed up twice. The other tables weren't as privy.
So there you have it. Not what I expected. I have decided that my generation and the next are either clueless, simpy don't care or are so fed up
they just don't think their vote maters anymore. You know though? IT DOES
All my friends that talk the big talk and complainers out
there....you missed your only chance today. I voted. I voted for the only person I believe will stay with this sinking ship: RON
OH..and one of those Ron Paul signs that were out front is now in my yard.