The craziest caucus Wyoming’s ever seen (in a good sort of way), February 8, 2008

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In the past, caucuses for Wyoming MN were pretty mundane. We had about 14 people show up, we discussed the resolutions, then we (almost) all signed up to be delegates, closed up shop, and waited for the real thing. (That is, for the countywide meeting, where the really important stuff happened.)

This Tuesday evening was like nothing I’ve ever seen before. As my Mom and I walked in, shortly after 6, we already had more people sitting in the room than we have ever seen at a caucus before, including ourselves. As we proceeded to organize our papers and thoughts, the room slowly filled as we pulled out more and more tables. We ran out of ballots and so were forced to improvise by taking a scissors to a thick pile of plank paper.

The straw poll commenced as my Mom and chairman Montzka tried to get the proceedings under control and under way.

The results were astounding; as the township residents left for their separate caucus, the results came in.

Romney. 68

McCain. 37

Huckabee.27

Paul 7

Taylor 2

(And, because of some confusion over the procedure, we had three votes for local candidates hoping to be endorsed by the party. We had two mayors vying for endorsement for the same seat, one from Chisago, the other, from Wyoming herself. We allowed them to make their speeches early, for, you see, our current mayor, for charity fundraising reasons, was obligated to return to a tent on a roof after making his short speech.)

It was incredible. There were ten times the number of people we usually have. One Hundred and forty sat in that room, supporting the Republican Party… Or, rather, supporting what they believed the Republican Party needed to see, to hear, to know and to do.

Most came for one reason and one reason only: They wanted to stop our party from walking down the leftward road the candidates seem to have taken.

After we broke up into two groups, the city and the township of Wyoming, we proceeded to explain to these newcomers what the duty and opportunity of the delegate is.

We filled every single slot we were allotted and then some.

These people, along with the long time, hard working conservatives, will join me at the county level, to discuss resolutions and help decide who moves to the next level… and who out party will endorse.

We will choose whether we think that the candidates will follow the platform.

The people from the city didn’t bother with resolutions… what’s the use of resolutions when the candidates will ignore what they claim to stand for? Though the township had the pressing matter of the annexation issue to grapple with, most of the newcomers are interested more in finding a way to support those candidates who will follow the platform than in changing it.

What’s the use of changing the platform for the city, county, state, or anything else if they don’t bother to follow it?

This turnout is, still, a great thing. It may have been caused by a problem, but we may finally have stepped toward a solution. Finally, people are getting up and doing something instead of sitting back and complaining. For that, I suppose I have to thank those such as Jason Lewis and other talk show hosts who exhorted people to get out and come to caucuses.

I don’t care if you don’t like politics, or if you think there’s nothing you can do to change it all. If you care, then get up, get to caucuses, find the people you know and trust, then elect them. If not for a local office, then elect them to go and support the right candidate at the next level, to be one more vote in the right direction toward endorsing the people who you think really should be there.

It’s not the system that’s the problem, or the “Republican party.”

It’s the fact that normal people who care enough to refuse to vote don’t bother to get up and try to fix it. True, “just one person” doesn’t seem to make a difference. But for every person who made the commitment to serve as a delegate, that’s one more vote against a bad candidate, against a bad proposal, and one more vote for the right ones.

When we sit back and grumble, those willing to work get what they want at our expense.

But when we get up and do our duty and take the reins, they have to listen. Or else they’ll never make it into office.

And that’s the way I believe it should be.

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