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What Happened in Iowa was a Hilarious and Revealing Lesson to Young Voters

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Photo from The Gazette

By Ian Firstenberg

The Iowa Caucus is a strange relic of the American Political system like the NYT endorsement.

Regardless, the eyes of the country and even the world turned to the Midwest state that Jimmy Carter lifted to political prominence in the 1970s (boy howdy what a show).

A caucus is kind of like when your PE teacher asked what game you wanted to play in fifth grade: there’s lots of yelling and the outcome often is unclear and disappointing.

Basically, caucusers go to a caucus location, shout out the candidate they support, elect what are called “State Delegates” who then move on and vote for the chosen candidate.

Monday night in Iowa could be described as a mess, a bungle, a good old-fashioned cluster fuck.

Despite the slurry of articles kvetching over the winner we here at Broke-Ass Stuart shoot straight because we know, much like us, you’d like to clear the water and see exactly what the fuck is the deal.

Out of that cluster fuck emerged Bernie Sanders claiming victory.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks from his campaign’s New Hampshire headquarters in Manchester on February 06, 2020. (Photo: Bernie Sanders Campaign)

At this point all the candidates have moved on to New Hampshire but Iowa results are still lingering out in the cold.

Monday became such a shitshow largely because of a results app that crashed early in the day, making party officials scramble to get their reported results from counties around Iowa.

The app was developed by a company almost too aptly named Shadow Inc., a for-profit entity with a large investment sum by Acronym. Shadow and Acronym have ties to the Democratic establishment, both the Clinton and Obama ilk.

Collective anxieties around the app were expressed early on but the party found those arguments unconvincing and carried on.

This may be the final Iowa Caucus anyone ever gives an ounce of a shit about and if so, what a glorious way to burn this entirely undemocratic process down.

Democracy, so we’re told, is one person one vote. The idea that despite money, class, race, gender or anything else, you matter as much as the next. While that hasn’t felt like the case for many of us in a long time, and some of us ever, that is what people think is supposed to happen.

Former Vice President Joe Biden answers questions at a presidential campaign stop Jan. 2 at the National Motorcycle Museum in Anamosa, Iowa (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

Monday’s caucus was a unique episode of Democratic cowardice and in a schadenfreude way, was incredible to watch. Like when you’re in a parking lot and you see someone backing towards someone else’s car and you wanna say something, but the guy backing up is in a 2018 Porsche Macan and just dismissed your existence at work. So now you’re just gonna watch him hit this other car and stare at him so he gets out and leaves a note because you know he wouldn’t otherwise.

To be explicitly clear: the centrist wing of the Democratic party has and continues to view Bernie Sanders as a threat, and as such, go to extended lengths to keep him out of primetime.

Despite being all conspiratorial, there’s a chunk of evidence to review. Namely the numerous changing of caucus locations the day of, or app developer’s connections to the centrist wing of the party, or the spiked poll just before the caucuses, or the fact that Mayor Pete got almost exclusively suburban counties while Sanders got more industrial union tethered areas.

We’re all clearly sick of wonking off at this point. There are three important takeaways from Iowa. The first is that Sanders has support, he is electable, people like him, and he’s not too old. For many non over consumptive political heads, this is the first moment they are tapping into the sewage line that is the American Democratic process. Seeing Sanders win in this husky corn powered state is a good thing; seeing him win on the support of workers and union members is better.

Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg shakes hands with people on the way out of a town hall meeting at Heartland Acres Agribition Center in Independence, Iowa, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020. (Brandon Pollock/Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier)

The second is that there will not be a ‘clean’ victory ever for Sanders. There will be no coronation and the center wing of the Democrats will go to great lengths to make sure all victory celebrations are tamped down.

The third and arguably most important is this, they got nobody else. Iowa showed to the national and international media just how thin this Democratic field is; Biden had an awful showing, Warren was outperformed, and Klobachur and Yang remain scraping the bottom of the polls. Mayor Pete was the only viable candidate along the centrist wing.

It bares mentioning that Mayor Pete’s only statewide election in Indiana, which he lost handily to a Republican, he received less than 9000 votes total. A dismal turnout in any election but in the context of a general election, clearly not enough turnout to get the job done.

Mayor Pete is a shitty choice and they know it. They got no one else, so we’re left with a McKinsey-ite trying to kneecap a candidate and campaign that actually engages a generation of people who have thus far been disaffected with politics.

It really would be sad if it wasn’t so laughably corrupt.

Despite ALL of this, it’s important to focus on the larger picture: Bernie Sanders is the best Democratic candidate with the most grassroots support across the nation, and has the best chance to win the Democratic nomination and the general.

A huge salute to those on the ground in New Hampshire, Iowa, South Carolina, Nevada, and here in the Golden State. This will be a dirty fight and we stand with you.

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