Well, today is the day we have all been waiting for. Not! I often wonder if other countries let their campaigning get so out of hand as we seem to have done. Today's crop of candidates is totally unusual. According to the speeches we've heard (and granted they are mostly abbreviated sound bytes), this country is drowning in a sea of extremes -- everything is wrong and what is mostly wrong are the other candidates. In the past few months we have seen an entire range of political philosophies from the Evangelical Tea Party extreme right to Democratic Socialism and everything in between. Take your pick. It is all there.
I suppose Donald Trump is the one who has set the stage for most of what has been going on. Every candidate seems to spend a great deal of time responding to his crude, braggadocious (Trump's word, not mine) remarks, to the power his millions of dollars can buy. For surely this is the age when the common man and woman are out of the picture. We have very little say anymore in who gets elected. Millions of dollars pour into the candidates' coffers or they themselves are multi-millionaires, the only ones who can afford to run for office. Even people from outside the state get involved in local elections. I call them "carpetbaggers" who have no business in our business. But money is what wins elections these days which doesn't say much for us, the voters.
Gone is the candidate who got on a train and traveled the country, speaking from the back platform on his car. When he was a boy, my Dad heard Franklin Roosevelt in South Dakota. My grandparents went to a rally for William Jennings Bryan where Grandpa hoisted Grandma up so she could see the great orator. I heard George Bush, senior at a small town Republican gathering in Minnesota after he won the Iowa Caucus many years ago, but eventually lost to Ronald Reagan. Even in our little town of Glendive in the early 1900s Senator "Pitchfork Ben" Tillman spoke at a political rally.
I would think the Iowa folk would be weary of "in-your-face" politics, but we'll see what the turnout is tonight and who leaves Iowa a winner. It is not politics at its best, but it certainly is a case of "what you see is what you get."