It died on February 3, 2020

By George Smith

It died on February 3, 2020

Iowa. Dead. Not the entire state, but the status of the nation’s first presidential primary is dead.

It was killed by technology … and the lack of it, and a failure to recognize the need for change and the refusal to do anything to implement that change in a reasonable and timely manner.

The elementary school line-up-for- recess exercise called the Iowa Caucus was, well, endearing and quaint and…, yes, antiquated. But, golly gosh, it was the first presidential primary and the candidates and media focused attention on the small Out There state for months and it made everyone interested in politics simply giddy in anticipation.

But Iowa blew it in such a demoralizing,  rural-cousin l, embarrassing sort of way that another, more sophisticated state will get bumped to the top of the presidential primary pecking order in 2024.

As of early Tuesday, a Democratic winner in the Iowa Caucus had not been announced. Virtual all candidates or their campaign staffs had harsh words for the state Democratic Party and its decision to use a reporting app for results. The Peter Principle, of course, went into effect, with the app failing; the back-up plan — calling in precinct results as has been done in the past — failed as the phone system could not handle the traffic overload.

Result: Chaos,m, andmad campaign workers, delegates and the horde of media encamped in the state to report results.

Bottonline: In the wake of this take-no-prisoners scene from “Lord of the Flies,” if Iowa schedules a caucus in 2024, it will be without the blessing of the National Democratic Committee.

It is no secret that the catch-as-catch-can-line-up-under-the-sign-of-your-preferred-candidate voting process in Iowa’s 1,681 precincts was…maybe, cute. 

But cute, in this era of technological supremacy and instant media reporting, is passe’ and tradition will no longer be good enough to sustain the privileged position of being the harbinger for the presidential  political season.

The caucus circus has always been fun: Friends meeting friends, sizing up the size of the crowds at all the candidates’ designated meeting areas, ordinary citizens laughing it up with reporters and jockeying for their 15 seconds of fame.

Now, all gone.

Gone because a small state chose to act small rather than act smart.

It was fun while it lasted. Iowa, As the song lyrics go:   

“So long, it’s been good to know ya

So long, it’s been good to know ya

So long, it’s been good to know ya

What a long time since I’ve been home

And I’ve gotta be driftin’ along”

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