My hide is chapped.
No, really – there is actual chappage on my hide which was likely incurred by braving some cold-ass temperatures last night to put in an appearance at my precinct’s caucus meeting… and I just lost you, didn’t I? For those without a thesaurus handy:
Precinct = neighborhood or zone.
Caucus = gathering or meeting.
Meeting… um, see above for evident redundancy on my part.
Once every four years, they hold these meetings as candidates of my party make their way across the country in attempts to glean my vote as well as the votes of my fellow state inhabitants. Most of you (98% of this state in fact, at minimum, based on last night’s turnout and stats) are absolutely clueless as to what goes down at these events, so let me enlighten you.
- Sign in that you attended for your precinct.
- Grab a cookie provided for free at your table and have a seat.
- See a few people in the seats next to you who apparently are your neighbors AND of your political persuasion (at least generally).
- Have a quasi-knowledgeable citizen/neighbor walk and talk you through the agenda which includes: vote for committee chair, vote for county delegates, vote for state delegates and vote for congressional delegates (PSST, if you become a delegate, for the cost of two venti Starbucks you get to go hobnob with other delegates where actual candidates and political figures will be!).
- Write down your ideas (collectively) for issues you want to be the platform of the party for election season.
- Have another cookie.
- Discuss and debate with those who are verbally capable at your table the where and why-for of your choice of candidate, your thoughts on issues and current events. (The result is a flavorful concoction of communication enhancement and mind-broadening.)
- Discreetly grab a few more cookies for the ride home (which will take all of two minutes) and head out of there.
In total, the above list took 78 minutes to reach completion at my specific caucus. I came away with a free cookie (hey, I’m watching my portions), the title of county delegate and the promise of getting paid $100 to be an election judge on November 6, 2012. But more than that, I walked to my VW waiting in an ice-glazed parking lot with a sense that I actually put to use the right bestowed upon me by generations of Americans who have bled and even died so I might freely complete that bulleted list above in the company of my peers and neighbors.
There are worse ways to spend a frigid winter evening once every four years. You might try it once in a while.