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Friday, February 27, 2015

Another Disaster in the Midwest.

Presidential election rhetoric is heating up, and the news cycles are shortening.  It is an exciting, exhilarating phenomenon.  An anthropological dream.  If history has taught us anything (for the most part, it hasn't, but we will be exploring that in detail, later, on another blog) it is that this is the precursor, an introduction to the real devastation.

Typically, the tremors start to be felt in Iowa.  Already the politicians are sending in reconnaissance forces, to occupy key facilities, and spread misinformation, and propaganda.  

Iowa is ground zero for this disaster.  This wide, sparsely populated state of rolling hills, farmland and windmills, always seems to invite the wrath of these political monsters.  With a quiet dignity, born of hard work and toil, they don't complain.

A caucus is not like a primary, it is a gathering of people who decide what to have for dinner, normally a sandwich, like a hamburger, only instead of a patty it is just a pile of fried ground beef heaped on a bun, wrapped snugly in wax paper, and served hot.   Iowans (people from Iowa) love these things.   

Facing difficult odds with grim determination is part of their heritage, and this sandwich is a lesson in the trials of life.   Picking up the sandwich, take a bite, and watch most of the contents slide into their lap, leaving a nasty stain, and possibly second degree burns.    Without complaint, and with a silent, fatalistic acceptance they eat their "loose meat" sandwiches, have their drink, and then get to the business of "caucusing."  Serious business, indeed.  

Instead of voting, they discuss, and talk, and debate the relative merits of the various candidates, and then they vote, either by writing their choice on a scrap of paper, perhaps a sandwich wrapper, after brushing all of the loose hamburger onto a plate.  Or, by standing in a group.  

After the count is tallied, they have Blue Bunny ice cream (from LeMars, the Ice Cream Capital of the World, we recommend the "Bunny Tracks" it is, without a doubt, the ice cream of the gods).  No, not really, that would be too simple, tasty and cooperative for  presidential politics.  They start negotiating, and changing sides, and bickering, and arguing, and it can get pretty heated, not unlike a family reunion, only not so likely to end in a fist fight.  

Soon, people are unconcerned with who they vote for, and just want to go home, it is Iowa in January, and the temperature outside is approaching too cold for description, and they have to go to work tomorrow, and the election is a not for quite some time.  Most of them would vote for anybody if the guy in the front of the room would just stop talking, and let them go home.  

The next day, all of the cameras, and news people, and candidates will pack up their stuff, and drive to New Hampshire, and the business of being an Iowan can be resumed.  Of course, the rest of the nation is bracing for impact, preparing halls for the coming invasion, and laying in supplies for the eventual siege, no one is safe.

This message was bought to you by Life Explained, and the Citizens United for Political Sanity (actually "citizens united" is a little generous, there is only one right now, if you would like to join just add your alias in comments, don't use your real name, "political sanity" will definitely get you in trouble).