Tuesday February 7th 2012, I attended the Republican political caucus at Four Seasons Elementary School. I had never been to a caucus before and I had never even heard of a caucus. At the school, the Honors Program students were greeted by some Republican volunteers. The volunteers helped with the sign-in of registered voters and a voting issue for the area. One lady came to talk to us before the caucus began. We said we had never been to a caucus before, so she explained what a caucus was and then she started talking about some issues and her personal views on the presidential elections. When the caucus began, we all gathered in the gymnasium of the school and heard four people talk about the four different candidates for the Republican Party for the presidential election. Then the main speaker talked about how everyone was going to divide into different rooms according to their district and precinct. There was confusion as to where to go for this part of the caucus so I noticed that Katie Benke had come to the caucus and went over and asked her what was going on. She told me what district we were in and told me that I could follow her to the right room. In the room everyone grabbed a chair and we sat in a circle. Other than the people from the Honors Program there were only about ten people. There was an older woman who led the meeting and discussion. First the woman facilitated everyone in nominating a chair, vice chair, and other positions for the precinct. Then they all voted on the candidate they wanted Minnesota to represent for the presidential election. Leah and Gina were the tellers since they could not vote because they are not registered voters of the area. Then the woman asked if there were any issues that needed to be addressed or discussed. Katie Benke brought up the issue of gambling. Katie thought that this issue should be brought to voting because it states that gambling is not allowed but she said it should not be mentioned as allowed or not allowed. She made an argument on how gambling could be good to raise money for things like building a new stadium. She also mentioned that there is a state lottery and that is like gambling. This issue was discussed for a long time but no real conclusion was made so they decided to mention it to the rest of the political party. After the discussion was over the caucus was dismissed and ended.
The caucuses are very important to the presidential election because they decided who will represent the precinct at the Republican Convention, that will decide who the Republican candidate for President will be. The President has the job of making decisions on behalf of the country. These issues are very widespread and do not just focus on the government but many aspects of life for Americans. This reminds me of the Honors Program and how it uses interdisciplinary learning which covers many subjects of study that relate to each other. The President deals with interdisciplinary areas in the job of being the head of the country. The President also serves in a service role because the position acts on behalf of the country. People vote the President into power to represent their beliefs and ideas for the country. The President serves the United States of America.
When I was on the way to the caucus, all I could think about when I heard the word "caucus" was a caucus race in the movie Alice in Wonderland. In the movie, Alice joins the company of a rat and others after she almost drowns in her own tears. They tell Alice the best way to get dry is to have a caucus race. I thought about this later after I had experienced the caucus and actually knew what it was. Even though the idea of the caucus race was a really weird way to get dry, it worked because it took Alice's mind off of being wet and eventually she dried off. I thought the caucus was really weird at first as well, but as it progressed I realized how important it was. I felt like I was really uninformed about issues that happen in our country-- and even in the area that I live. Part of that is due to me being a busy college student, but I realized that I want to try to be more informed- at least- about the presidential election and the major issues surrounding it. I thought the caucus was just going to talk about each Republican candidate but it dealt a lot more with current issues. Similar to Alice, my mind was opened to a new perspective.