Column: betrayal at the caucuses

An almost-18 year old contemplates what occurred at her first caucus.


Sharon Xiang, Co-Editor-in-Chief

I learned that my friend was a Republican in hiding today at my first caucus. However, she asked to not be named and due to journalistic integrity, I sadly can’t shame her in writing.

But this column isn’t about my feelings of betrayal, instead it’s about my first time caucusing. Ever since I was little, my number one goal was to be able to participate in the American election process; I treasured my American citizenship status because I knew that one day I would be able to use it to elect a president. Yes, I am a nerd.

So, as most people do, I was unable to fall asleep on Sunday due to my excitement. I imagined how lively the caucus would be; there would be lots of red-faced arguing and fighting with wild swearing and hopefully some drink throwing — even though Democrats are much more civilized than Republicans. I may have also watched too many Bad Girls Club reruns.

However, as I waited in line Monday night, the experience wasn’t living up to the hype. First off, I waited in the cold for over thirty minutes; as a person who complains about fifty degree temperature, that was painful. When I finally entered the building, I was disappointed to see that the line was nowhere near over and the dreariness of Borlaug Elementary did not help the ambiance.

Thirty minutes after I finally reached the check-in tables, it appeared that I was not on the registered voter list — despite registering three weeks prior. My saltiness was slowly rising because it was turning out to be a frustrating experience, nothing at all like the fun I had pictured. Finally, I entered the Borlaug Elementary School gym, where I found my friends and sat down to write this very column.

Despite the initial struggles, I definitely did find the caucus to be a rewarding experience because I was able to talk to various people about why they supported a certain candidate and learn about their stances on various policy issues. I definitely encourage people to go out to caucus if they have the chance to in four years again. Who knows, maybe your friends may drop bombshells on you or you can get a killer pic with the Bernie man. 9/10 would recommend caucusing.

the bernie man

Some fun highlights that occurred at my precinct:

  • Sound bite from me that got a few caucus-goers laughs: “Who needs stacks of money when you have stacks of caucus cards?”
  • There were about nineteen O’Malley supporters and two Joe Biden supporters (Why??? I do not know but they were old white men who seemed to enjoy trolling)
  • I can finally tell apart the Hsu twins — Erica has a mole on her nose. You’re welcome to those who were wondering
  • There was a cool man wearing a funky shirt full of Bernie’s face
  • My butt numbed after sitting on the bleacher for two hours.
  • When the donation envelope disappeared the secretary of our precinct said, “That’s what Republicans do, not Democrats!”

Here’s the playlist I jammed to while at the caucus; though it may not have been the most patriotic thing for me to listen to mostly K-pop.