So, Should I Caucus?

 

635501804068694446-2016IowaCaucus-720x163The Iowa caucuses will come to their tumultuous conclusion Monday. I live in Sioux County, here in the northwest corner of the state, and from what I can tell, Cruz, Trump, and Carson are the candidates of choice here. Carson will probably do very well, as this area is both very conservative and very religious. The various precincts will have large public rooms or gyms assigned for meeting, and the Democrats will probably gather in someone’s basement. My pastor encouraged everyone this morning to participate in the caucus and make their voice heard. I do believe in fulfilling one’s civic duty, and my vote and advocacy (primarily against Trump) would have some non-zero value.

Problem is, I’m not a Republican.

I dropped out of the GOP about a decade ago, because they failed in their responsibilities too often. They simply didn’t seem to be worth supporting any longer, and the party pays only the barest lip service to my values and beliefs. To paraphrase Reagan, it’s not so much that I left the party, but they left me. I’m officially declared as “No Party” in the voter rolls. (Not that this has in the least dissuaded the GOP from sending me stacks of junk mail.)

I have zero affection for or loyalty to the GOP. I also have no strong opinion for anyone left in the field, though I do despise Trump. Right now, I’m nearly certain that I’m not going to bother showing up tomorrow night.

But still, this is a civic duty, and the primaries this year are consequential. What does Ricochet think? Should I show up at the caucus, re-register as a Republican, and participate in the process?

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There are 50 comments.

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  1. Hammer, The Member

    Yes. If you are voting against trump, then absolutely. If I lived in a primary state, I absolutely would because this is a special year where Trump is a special sort of disaster.

    • #1
    • January 31, 2016, at 2:22 PM PDT
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  2. Neil Hansen (Klaatu) Inactive

    What Ryan said.

    • #2
    • January 31, 2016, at 2:25 PM PDT
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  3. MJBubba Inactive

    Please.

    You absolutely should go. Support Carson, or whichever candidate you believe is the most conservative candidate that could win.

    Then post a report on the caucus.

    Thanks.

    • #3
    • January 31, 2016, at 2:57 PM PDT
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  4. Eric Hines Inactive

    Go as a Democrat, or go as a Republican, but go, I suggest: whatever your caucus vote, it’ll be anti-Trump. And aside from that, as you’ve already noted, you have a duty.

    If you do decide to go as a Democrat, I suggest caucusing for Sanders. At least he’s the honest Democrat in the field.

    Eric Hines

    • #4
    • January 31, 2016, at 3:11 PM PDT
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  5. rico Inactive

    If you have to ask then you probably shouldn’t.

    On the other hand, I do like MJ’s suggestion of posting a report.

    • #5
    • January 31, 2016, at 3:20 PM PDT
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  6. Percival Thatcher

    I was planning on going up until I moved for work.

    Do it.

    • #6
    • January 31, 2016, at 3:22 PM PDT
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  7. Casey Inactive

    I would say yes too. Because it isn’t just who wins and loses but how it slices up.

    The reality is that this is Trump, Cruz, and Rubio. Putting a pebble in any one of those three jars means something.

    • #7
    • January 31, 2016, at 3:27 PM PDT
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  8. Fake John/Jane Galt Thatcher

    Does not really matter. In the end HRC wins the game. Trump is just a distraction to control the narrative.

    • #8
    • January 31, 2016, at 3:50 PM PDT
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  9. BrentB67 Inactive

    I don’t care who you support, but think you should go. Good luck.

    • #9
    • January 31, 2016, at 4:31 PM PDT
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  10. Probable Cause Inactive

    1. It’s easy for me to spend someone else’s time. So sure, go do your civic duty.

    2. If you are dissatisfied with the Republican Party because they haven’t lived up to their own standards, then that’s a perfect reason to participate.

    [edit]

    P.S. Take a book.

    • #10
    • January 31, 2016, at 4:34 PM PDT
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  11. Michael Collins Member

    No, you should not go. I was a registered Republican who also became disgusted with the party. Now I am a proud independent. There is great value in letting politicians of both parties know that they can not count on our support. Being an Independent is making a political statement that is every bit as important as going out to vote for a candidate. (Note: If it looks like Trump might actually win, I may register as a Republican before the Nebraska primary. But that would be an extreme situation. For now I think we can hang loose.)

    • #11
    • January 31, 2016, at 4:40 PM PDT
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  12. Saint Augustine Member

    Belt:I also have no strong opinion for anyone left in the field, though I do despise Trump. . . . .

    . . . What does Ricochet think? Should I show up at the caucus, re-register as a Republican, and participate in the process?

    Yes, please do! If you don’t know what’s best but you’re pretty sure you know what’s worst, go support something that’s at least better.

    I’d go if I were Iowan.

    • #12
    • January 31, 2016, at 5:18 PM PDT
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  13. Albert Arthur Coolidge

    No.

    You abdicated your civic responsibility “about a decade ago.” Now you’re feeling slightly uncomfortable with how things are going. Maybe you should have thought about that before hand. You reap what you (don’t) sow. :-P

    • #13
    • January 31, 2016, at 5:27 PM PDT
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  14. Saint Augustine Member

    Albert Arthur:No.

    You abdicated your civic responsibility “about a decade ago.” Now you’re feeling slightly uncomfortable with how things are going. Maybe you should have thought about that before hand. You reap what you (don’t) sow. :-P

    If this makes any sense, I can’t find it.

    You wanna blame this gentleman for not taking responsibility? Ok, I get that.

    But you can’t get from “You did some wrong” to “You shouldn’t do right now.”

    • #14
    • January 31, 2016, at 5:33 PM PDT
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  15. Hammer, The Member

    Saint Augustine:

    Albert Arthur:No.

    You abdicated your civic responsibility “about a decade ago.” Now you’re feeling slightly uncomfortable with how things are going. Maybe you should have thought about that before hand. You reap what you (don’t) sow. :-P

    If this makes any sense, I can’t find it.

    You wanna blame this gentleman for not taking responsibility? Ok, I get that.

    But you can’t get from “You did some wrong” to “You shouldn’t do right now.”

    Agreed. You lied to your mother as a child, don’t dare try telling the truth, now. The truth train left “a decade” ago and you weren’t on it.

    Right now, consider that your responsibility is to conservatism. Trump won’t ruin the republican party (though he could do that as well), he will ruin conservatism.

    • #15
    • January 31, 2016, at 6:40 PM PDT
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  16. Guruforhire Member

    If you are not a Republican it would be dishonest to participate in the proceedings of their club.

    • #16
    • January 31, 2016, at 6:49 PM PDT
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  17. Saint Augustine Member

    Guruforhire:If you are not a Republican it would be dishonest to participate in the proceedings of their club.

    The gentleman explicitly tells us he is considering rejoining the club. Your remark, even if true, is entirely inapplicable.

    • #17
    • January 31, 2016, at 7:02 PM PDT
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  18. Hammer, The Member

    Saint Augustine:

    Guruforhire:If you are not a Republican it would be dishonest to participate in the proceedings of their club.

    The gentleman explicitly tells us he is considering rejoining the club. Your remark, even if true, is entirely inapplicable.

    And untrue to begin with. The Republican party may not always represent conservatives, but it is the only conservative party, so if a conservative wants to have a say on an issue that is rightly his – as Trump undoubtedly is – it is his responsibility to have that say. It would be dishonest to participate in the proceedings of a party whose interests are flatly opposed to yours, in order to sabotage them. But Guru’s point, here, is nonsensical. The Republican party is not a “club,” and the OP does not suggest that he is a democrat trying to sabotage republicans. If anything, it would be dishonest not to caucus.

    • #18
    • January 31, 2016, at 7:06 PM PDT
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  19. Leigh Member

    Please, please do. You’re not caucusing for the GOP. You’re doing it for the country.

    A Trump nomination could have serious consequences for this country I love and people I love in it. You evidently see that too, and you have an opportunity I don’t to make a difference. So — if you’ll pardon me putting it this way — in this context, it doesn’t matter that you feel the GOP left you. It’s not for them, it’s for the rest of us.

    Your lack of loyalty to the party and lack of enthusiasm for its elected officials aren’t inconsistent with registering as a Republican. You for the most part very broadly agree with the general principles it’s supposed to stand for, at least as opposed to the principles espoused by that other party. The party’s current leadership may be doing a lousy job standing for those principles, but that doesn’t mean that the ideas are wrong. And you’re no more responsible for that failure as a registered Republican than as a “no party” citizen. If anything less so, because you’ve taken an opportunity to stand against it in the caucus.

    I understand finding none of the alternatives attractive — that was me in an early-primary state in 2012. Prayed, thought hard, wrote out pros and cons, decided the night before. It was one vote, but I believe I was right and don’t regret the effort.

    • #19
    • January 31, 2016, at 7:10 PM PDT
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  20. katievs Member

    In my opinion, now is the time for all good men to come to the aid their country, which is in imminent danger of worse than disaster.

    Maybe it’s too late. But maybe it’s not. And a bit of caucusing isn’t a lot to ask, is it? I mean, in comparison with “our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor?”

    • #20
    • January 31, 2016, at 7:11 PM PDT
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  21. Phil Turmel Coolidge

    Our plurality-based election system basically consigns third parties to their own special form of purgatory. They can’t and won’t ever gain any traction, because their biggest effect in elections is to kill the chances of their closest ideological allies.

    That being the case, if the two biggest parties won’t do the things you feel necessary, the only real option, however difficult, is to pick one of those parties and help change it.

    That means at least participating in caucus/primary events, and even better, participating in local precinct events. It also means committing to that party for the general, even if you didn’t get everything you wanted.

    Progressives figured this out decades ago, and control the Dems today. Small government advocates aka tea partiers have started the process to take over the Republicans. It’s a messy, nasty, depressing, but ultimately necessary task. Suck it up and go. Your grandchildren will thank you. {They’ll probably still be working on it, though.}

    • #21
    • January 31, 2016, at 7:23 PM PDT
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  22. Josh F. Inactive

    Yes. Voting is good. Do it as often as you can. You won’t regret it.

    • #22
    • January 31, 2016, at 7:35 PM PDT
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  23. Eric Hines Inactive

    Bucky Boz: Yes. Voting is good. Do it as often as you can.

    Yes, and for those Chicagoans listening in, when your turn comes, go by your local cemetery and give as many of the inmates as will fit in your car a ride so they can get their votes in, too.

    Eric Hines

    • #23
    • January 31, 2016, at 8:04 PM PDT
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  24. Manny Member

    One should always vote, no matter what, even if you have to write in a name. It’s your civic responsibility. Yes register as a Republican and vote for Rubio. ;)

    • #24
    • January 31, 2016, at 8:42 PM PDT
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  25. CuriousKevmo Member

    I’m very sympathetic to your viewpoint. I too left the Republican party a long time ago. And I’ve come close to not voting a couple times.

    But I’m also a WW II history buff and those books and movies remind me how much others have given up — and still do — for my freedom and my opportunity to try and shape the leadership of the country so I have to vote every chance I get, even if just to honor them.

    • #25
    • January 31, 2016, at 9:00 PM PDT
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  26. PJ Coolidge
    PJ

    Please do. In my view, Rubio or Cruz would be best to stop Trunp.

    • #26
    • January 31, 2016, at 9:35 PM PDT
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  27. Could Be Anyone Member

    Do it. One ought to vote for the conservative candidate. Evil prevails when good men do nothing.

    • #27
    • January 31, 2016, at 9:41 PM PDT
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  28. Brandon Phelps Inactive

    Go and support any of the non-Trump anti-establishment candidates. My choice is Cruz, but anything besides Trump is better than nothing. This ain’t for the GOP, it’s for the USA.

    • #28
    • January 31, 2016, at 9:55 PM PDT
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  29. Seedbeader Member

    It would be great if you attend. I am a Californian and my vote never counts. You have a chance to make a difference.

    • #29
    • January 31, 2016, at 10:35 PM PDT
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  30. Joseph Stanko Member

    ‘What IS a Caucus-race?’ said Alice; not that she wanted much to know, but the Dodo had paused as if it thought that SOMEBODY ought to speak, and no one else seemed inclined to say anything.

    `Why,’ said the Dodo, `the best way to explain it is to do it.’ (And, as you might like to try the thing yourself, some winter day, I will tell you how the Dodo managed it.)

    First it marked out a race-course, in a sort of circle, (`the exact shape doesn’t matter,’ it said,) and then all the party were placed along the course, here and there. There was no `One, two, three, and away,’ but they began running when they liked, and left off when they liked, so that it was not easy to know when the race was over. However, when they had been running half an hour or so, and were quite dry again, the Dodo suddenly called out `The race is over!’ and they all crowded round it, panting, and asking, `But who has won?’

    This question the Dodo could not answer without a great deal of thought, and it sat for a long time with one finger pressed upon its forehead (the position in which you usually see Shakespeare, in the pictures of him), while the rest waited in silence. At last the Dodo said, `EVERYBODY has won, and all must have prizes.’

    Sounds like just the remedy after trudging through the Iowa snow.

    • #30
    • January 31, 2016, at 11:35 PM PDT
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