Monday, February 11, 2008

The Republican Caucus

On Saturday morning, I woke up early (before my alarm went off, even!). I went to Blue Valley Northwest High School at about 9:30 am for the Republican Presidential Caucuses. I learned in line that this was the first time Kansas has had caucuses in 20 years and that they were seen as a cheaper alternative to full primaries. Unfortunately, this resulted in 1/600 as many voting locations. They had to hold two sessions because there were so many people, and you have to wonder how many didn't stick around to hear that everyone in line would be allowed to vote. I got there late enough that I had to stand in line for about an hour, but I was able to vote in the second session.

Standing in line was actually more fun than participating in the caucus. There was good conversation in front of me and behind me, a crazy old man, and a conspiracy theorist right next to me. The crazy old man kept saying I was the future of the Republican party and that I have to write letters supporting the candidates for various offices. I didn't have the heart to tell him that I'm mostly Democrat. One of the guys in front of me was an old official in the Republican party, too, and had some interesting facts about what was really happening. And then there was this lady that brought her husband's voter registration card hoping for a second ballot because he just had surgery and couldn't make it. I really hope she wasn't given a second ballot, but if she was, I'm definitely going to be stealing a few voter registration cards next election!

All in all, it wasn't as great an experience as I'd hoped, but it was still an enjoyable Saturday morning. I got to show my support for Ron Paul while reminding myself of why I hate most politics. Has anyone been to a major Democratic event? Did they question the patriotism of Republicans? This was the part that annoyed me the most: We started the caucus part with the Pledge of Allegiance, after which the guy on stage quipped, "Do the Democrats even do that anymore?" Thankfully, he got a few upset howls among the applause. Ugh.

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