Tonight, all across the corn intensive State of Iowa, voters will gather in gymnasiums and cafeterias, churches and Elks Lodges for the famous Iowa Caucus. While the winner of tonight’s festivities – at least on the GOP side – is traditionally unlikely to win the eventual nomination, the process by which we got to this evenings events is both fascinating and frustrating.
First of all, these primaries and caucuses are reactionary in nature to the control that the Party Bosses had over the nomination process. As more and more of the people wanted a say in who their Party chose to run, the primaries became more and more common. Followed, as a matter of course, by the Party’s and States moving to control who could and could not participate in the process and the degree to which the process controlled things.
From 1923 infamous Texas State Law which banned black men from voting in the Democrat Primary (note: not the Republican one, just the Democrat Primary), to the all around disaster that was the 1968 Election process, the battle has always been between the Party Bosses and the people to control who could participate and ultimately choose the Party’s nominee.
Even today, there are still yet attempts to control and limit who can participate, such as California’s Prop 14. And so the battle for the heart and souls of the Parties and their ultimate level of control starts again tonight, in the cornfields of Iowa…