Politics explicated: What’s going on in the world, why you should care

by Mark Pleiss

John Kerry shocked Howard Dean with the “Iowa Bounce” and hasbecome the Democrat’s leading candidate to defeat Bush.

Cool, huh?

Are you confused?

Have you ever wondered what a Caucus is? Does the image of amysterious, ranting man screaming about taking over states hauntyour dreams? Do you know what a Kucinich is? If not, don’t worry.I’m here to help.

For as long as my short-term memory can gather, there have beenpictures of politicians on the front page of all three majornewspapers provided by Simpson every day. Who are these men and whywas Iowa mentioned so much? That’s a good place to begin.

The men getting all the attention are the Democratic nominees torun for president in November 2004. There are of course two majorparties: Democrats and Republicans. Our president is a Republican.This angers Democrats. So they are rounding up their most ablebodied politicians to find one good enough to beat George W.Bush.

One of the methods used to see which man will win amongst theDemocrats is the Caucus. Iowa is currently home to the Caucus. Thatis why there were all those national media people, deranged,hardcore political supporters and nominees on campus a few weeksago.

During the Iowa Caucus, people gathered in several differentdesignated Caucus areas (gyms). In each corner was the name of acandidate. When the whistle is blown, everyone attending the Caucuswalks to the corner of whom they wish to support. Whoever has themost people in a corner wins. It’s that simple.

What does that solve? It gives pollers a good idea as to howeach politician will do when it comes time to vote. This year, theresults were strong enough to convince one runner to drop outbecause he lost so bad.

But who are these men?

The leaders right now are Senator John Kerry from SouthCarolina, Governor Howard Dean from Vermont and Senator JohnEdwards from North Carolina. Kerry is leading by over 10 percent inthe poles after winning the Iowa Caucuses and then the NewHampshire primary.

Dean led most of the way until the Iowa Caucuses where Kerrypulled a Joe Montana-like come back, defeating Dean considerably.John Edwards, meanwhile is hanging around, taking third and secondplace in most of his travels.

The defeat of Dean in the Iowa Caucuses lit the powder kegbeneath his seat, propelling him to make his much-acclaimed speechwhere he ranted about future victory with a demonic madness onlycomparable to the one Eminem uses to rap about killing hiswife.

Senatory Kerry is best known for his duty in Vietnam and hisphilosophy that people that have never been sent to war shouldn’tsend others (Bush). Dean is noted for being against the war inIraq. John Edwards is the young, heart throb candidate oftencompared to Bill Clinton (but not because of looks or sexualreputation).

From there, the issues get complicated and personal research isbest.

After that are those that probably won’t win. There’s theoutspoken reverend Al Sharpton, Wesley Clark, who opted to skipIowa and just sell himself in New Hampshire, but ended up finishingfourth in New Hampshire, Joseph Lieberman who is really, really oldand Dennis Kucinich who openly supports legalization (and I’m nottalking immigration).

I hope with these words I have painted a picture vivid enoughfor students to understand what is going on right now in theillustrious world of politics. The key to getting what you want inthis country is voting, but you must first understand the politicalworld to some degree. If more kids would discover politics, morewould vote and our generation would receive the fruits ofpolitics.

For those of you that want the drinking age to be 18, for thoseof you who want more funding for the schools that envelop yourlives and those that just want more personal freedoms let me askyou this.

If there were as many kids voting as there were are old people,wouldn’t these issues inevitably arise? And what politicianwouldn’t support such things if it meant he would be elected?