COLUMN by Personality-Ville's Kimberly West re: 2008 Iowa Caucus Night October 13 2015, 0 Comments

This is not a column about who I think is the best choice for president. I have never been very active in politics, although I do always vote in major elections. I was vaguely aware that Iowa played some part in the election process but never really understood how important a part until this year.

What I have always been is a proud Iowan.

Iowa pride. That phrase sounds contradictory. Iowa is known for its down-to-earth people who don’t boast a lot. We’re known for not being too flashy, loud or controversial.

When all eyes were on Iowa with the first Democratic and Republican party caucuses this month, I felt proud to be an Iowan.

Many thought Iowa would vote a predictable way.

It seemed that this year the political process was watched with much more interest than usual and I was anxious to talk with some of the people involved. I talked with two campaign workers who hadn’t voted since the 1970s.

When I talked to one woman from California who was here volunteering on her vacation, she said she was impressed with the friendly Iowa people. I felt proud to be an Iowan.

One gentleman was here volunteering who happened to have gone to college with one of the candidates. There were people who had changed their party affiliation after 30 years such as Republicans becoming Democrats for the night.

When a reporter from Denver said that he was impressed with Iowa voters because they didn’t readily jump on a candidate’s bandwagon but usually carefully educated themselves before deciding, I felt proud to be an Iowan.

When caucus night came with its huge turnout, I felt proud to be an Iowan.

When thousands of people — women and men — voted for a woman candidate, I felt proud to be an Iowan.

Thousands came out in throngs to tie their kite to someone who they thought would take it and run for change.

When young Iowa voters chose a man who they thought would be the best person for president who just happened to have a different ancestry than most people here in Iowa, I felt proud to be an Iowan.

When many Republicans voted their hearts and stuck with a candidate that reflected cherished values, I felt proud to be an Iowan.

For the first time I got involved with the caucus process, but it wasn’t all about who I thought was the best candidate; it was more about being a part of a state that let its voices be heard.

Most political strategists agree that on a cold winter night in Iowa, a new American presidency was born. Come November, when we know who is the next president of the United States, I’ll look back and say: I felt proud to be an American.

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