Frankly, I don’t really understand how the Iowa Caucuses work, and I don’t want to spend the time to research the process. However, there are a few things we now know. Let’s review the frontrunners.
Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton: who really won? The results are statistically a tie with Clinton at 49.8% and Sanders at 49.6%. In fact, in six precincts, following state law, the winner was decided by a coin toss. Since Clinton won all of the tosses, she must be lucky. And we know that Iowans believe in divination. In addition, we know that Sanders did unexpectedly well. Perhaps the most obvious thing learned on the Democrat side was that Iowans like both Sanders and Clinton. Does this mean the Democratic candidate will come down to a choice between a Progressive Democrat and a Democratic Socialist? If so, that is exciting news. It means that the voters are willing to participate in the race, to focus on issues, and to back the candidate that holds a certain view.
On the Republican side, Cruz, the declared winner, had 28%; Trump pulled 24%, and Rubio grabbed 23%. I’m not sure why 28% is considered winning – other than he got the biggest slice of the pie – but this is politics, and politicians can spin anything. The good news now is we might have a chance to hear from candidates other than Trump.
The race for the Republican candidate has barely started and these three people are tied. The choice is with the voters. What does it mean for the future? Whether Republicans pick reality TV star Trump (who hates everyone he’s ever met) or one of two Cuban-American candidates, the Republican Party has made a huge step. No longer is the Republican choice delineated by skin color or European ancestry. Can we hope this is movement away from the racism of the past?
Perhaps this change will build upon the Democratic Presidency of Barack Obama (that Republics so deride, but which, in itself, broke barriers) in order to become a country with equal opportunity regardless of race, gender or creed. We could be progressing towards the day when candidates are judged on the basis of their qualities, characters, and abilities instead of their social status, ancestry or physical traits. We can work towards that, can’t we?