Iowa caucus turnout should inspire us

Published 11:28 pm Monday, January 7, 2008

By Staff
No matter how you felt about the outcome of the Iowa caucuses last week, the vote had to give you chill bumps.
While so many other nations struggle for free elections, our country, every four years, engages in a fantastic display of democracy as we elect a president.
Sure, it's not perfect. Eight years ago we were nearly locked in a constitutional crisis.
Iowa and the fraction of its voters who participate in the nation's first caucuses probably get too much attention.
States like Alabama - with only nine electoral votes - factor little in the candidates' campaign strategy.
But all of that is a far cry from the turmoil in places like Pakistan, where elections are threatened by violence in the wake of Benazir Bhutto's assasination, and Kenya, where disputed elections have led to at least 300 deaths amid rioting and looting.
But this year's Iowa caucus - which attracted record numbers of new voters - proved yet again that Americans can treasure their democratic process. Even more, the caucus disproved some myths about Americans. Mike Huckabee's win in the GOP caucus proves you don't have to buy your votes, and Democratic winner Barack Obama's victory shows that an African-American has a legitimate chance at winning a presidential nomination.
Obama, it should be noted, is the son of a Kenyan. Imagine what his father would think today of his native land's struggles - and his son's success.
Our election process may be flawed, but it comes a lot closer to perfect than any other democracy.

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