KISS – Keep It Super Simple!

Mar 26, 2016 | 0 comments

Ocean Park School - 1936

Ocean Park School – 1936

Today is Democratic Caucus Day here in Washington.  Our caucus location is my old stomping ground, Ocean Park Elementary School.  It’s nearby and familiar and I feel good about that.  I don’t feel so hot about the rest of it, though.  I’m all for one person, one vote and, sad to say, that turned out to be another one of those fantasies of elementary school – back when we voted by putting our heads down and raising our hands high.

We didn’t need an electoral college.  We didn’t have a party system.  We weren’t choosing delegates.  And we’d never heard the term ‘superdelegates’.  It was all pretty simple.  The kids running for office got a chance to tell us what they thought they could do for us – like circulate a petition to get our drinking fountain fixed.  (Truly.  I even remember the kid who campaigned on that ‘platform.’)  After we heard from everyone, we voted.  That simple.  One person, one vote.

A Show of Hands

A Show of Hands

What was the worst that could happen?  By the time we were in high school, we were cautioned (By whom? Our peers?  Our teachers?) not to let the election turn into a popularity contest.  That made some of us look extra favorably upon those we considered ‘the underdogs’ but, otherwise, I don’t know that it mattered.  Certainly we did not have to consider party loyalties, delegates to a convention, or anything else beyond voting for our candidate of choice.

They say you can’t go back again and that’s probably absolutely true with regard to the one person, one vote system of elections.  Or did we ever have that policy anywhere beyond our school days?  I think we have given lip-service to it but only in regard to legislative redistricting – which is a whole other complication.  Modern day politics tends to give me a headache and make me just want to stay home.

But, along with closing my eyes and raising my hand (high!), I was imbued with a sense of civic responsibility.  I was impressed with that whole “if you don’t vote you have no right to criticize” attitude and, later, with Eldridge Cleaver’s mantra, “You’re either part of the solution or part of the problem.”  The trouble in my mind is – how do we get to the solution by going to the caucus this morning?

Never mind.  It’s a rhetorical question.


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