I live in Iowa, which is known as “The First In The Nation” during Presidential Elections. The Iowa Caucus will be held tonight, February 1st, and it is the first electoral event in the process of choosing our next American president.
First, allow me to describe what it’s been like to live in Iowa during the past few weeks.
- We’ve been receiving about ten calls a day polling us about who we plan to vote for at the caucus.
- College-age men and women have been walking our street, knocking on doors, trying to gain votes for their candidate.
- Daily, we have opportunities to attend multiple rallies, town-hall meetings, and worship services with the candidates. Donald Trump held a rally at a restaurant about 6 blocks from my house- how bizarre! And we are attending a free movie this weekend because one of the candidates rented out the theater.
- Each day we receive 6-8 pieces of mail from candidates asking us to vote for him/her.
- Nearly every commercial during the evening news is a political campaign ad.
- All of the candidates and press have descended upon our state, and therefore hotel rooms are going for over $400 a night (in Iowa!?!)
And surprisingly… I LOVE this election process. I find it so encouraging to know that the people in my state have the power to make a difference tonight. We have an opportunity to consider our values and choose a candidate who most closely represents these values. We have an obligation to exercise our freedoms that have been paid for in blood. We are privileged to live in a nation where we get to chose our leaders. We get to VOTE.
I love this quote by Samuel Adams, one of our founding fathers, “Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual–or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country. ”
And you have that opportunity, too! I want to challenge you today to commit to voting in your state’s caucus or primary this year. Have you never gone before? Are you unsure of what to expect? Don’t let fear get in the way. Let this be the year that you join into this awesome democratic process. Here are a few links to check out:
p.s. If you are a parent, take your kids! Here in Iowa, we use the caucus system, which is noisy and informal and perfect for whole families. But even if you live in a state that holds a primary, take them with you. Explain to them how privileged we are to get to vote.