I went to the caucus tonight. Yes, they’re annoying, time-consuming, and the traffic is bad, but there’s something really nice about taking the political discussion off of facebook and into a real place where the banter matters.
The thing that doesn’t get enough attention is the resolutions. Everyone is focused on the straw poll. The resolutions are where the real business takes place. We only had five resolutions, but we had spirited debate on each of them. These are chances for people to really have their voice heard by proposing items that they believe should be part of the party platform.
The most passionate discussion was about how to contain invasive species in Minnesota lakes. The resolution proposed that lakes should be quarentined for a certain amount of time when invasive species are found. It was a radical resolution that I didn’t one hundred percent agree with, but I voted for anyway. I believe that it should be in the discussion to figure out the party platform. It will be discussed on by more people and hammered out. I think that’s a good thing.
I’m also a delegate to the senate district convention. I’m looking forward to it. It’s another chance to talk to candidates and get things in front of people who can pass them up the chain. As opposed to just ranting here or on social media into the ether, this is another chance to talk to people and get more ideas going.
My biggest problem with the caucuses is that people don’t really know what’s going on. They want to vote in the preference ballot, but they don’t really know about delegates or the party resolutions. That’s the real chance to get things going.
I think a primary would be easier, but I do like it that there is a place and time to sit down and discuss things. We don’t do that as a society anymore. We like to have our own time and our place to talk about things.
Whatever you have to say about the state of democracy or the voting public, I’m at least glad it’s around. This is important. We’re talking about things at a grassroots level.
I’m running out of things to say here. I’m kind of tired and doing three things at once. So I’ll just finish it out with a few thoughts:
This campaign has been crazy, but I hope people don’t lose faith in democracy. It’s still the best we have. I like that I have the oportunity to vote and discuss my problems with people I elect to make decision for me.
But do we have to be so mean and vile in this campaign? It’s depressing. I’ve got a feeling that most Americans all want the same thing: safety, freedom, opportunity, but we just have different ideas on how to get there. We need to listen more and yell less. We need discussion and vigorous, yet respectful debate, not ad hominem attacks. Will it happen this cycle? Don’t think so. Eventually? Maybe.