A Letter to the Editor

Drew Jauron, Guest Writer

A letter I wrote to Politico’s Tom Alberta regarding his article, “The Death of Iowa”

Dear Editor,

As you know, yesterday was the Iowa caucuses and me, being a 17 year old Iowan who turns 18 before November, was allowed to participate. I had a great experience at a local community center, where I got to talk with people I knew and had a relatively smooth caucus experience. It was friendly and helped engage Democratic voters in my community. Even though I live in a suburb of Des Moines, it still felt small.  Although, I imagine caucusing at Drake University’s Knapp Center would be much more terrifying.

In light of this, and the tv news’ coverage of the caucuses, I was disheartened to read an article in The Politico proclaiming, “The Death of Iowa,” by their chief political respondent and Michigan native Tim Alberta.  Such a sensationalist headline, as I’m sure is apparent, was designed to create clicks on his platform. He then, in the sub heading, subsequently invokes Franklin Roosevelt’s Infamy speech, a speech given after American soil was bombed and numerous Americans died, something I consider baseless and immature. To call such an event a “catastrophe,” as he did, is further hyperbole designed to enrage the nation against our state.  To say it is “predictable” for “Iowa to fall in this manner” blames the entire state as opposed to only the Iowa Democratic Party.  It appears he was wildly frustrated writing this, hoping for a “winner” of the caucus that he, a member of the national media could then flaunt, as they usually do.

Instead of looking at the good the caucus brought, allowing youth to participate and bringing communities together, he chose to make his story about the inadequacy of the caucus to serve his purpose as national politics reporter, to spin the results to promote a candidate.  I do agree that the physical caucus system can be declared outdated.  At my Grimes precinct, where Amy Klobuchar won an extra delegate with 46 votes (compared to my choice Pete Buttigieg’s 44), I can admit that the results are skewed, where Bernie Sander’s 23 votes were worth the same delegates as Buttigieg’s. However, the system can change. His solution of moving the first status to, say, his home state of Michigan (which he would prefer under the guise of better representing the party), is radical and robs us of our place in this country’s democratic process. Iowa isn’t just “old, white, rural, and religious” as he and many in the national media seem to believe. Or they are hoping to convince their reading base of such. I am evidence that many Iowans are diverse, young, and represent the party well. The Iowa Straw Poll went away 8 years ago because it rightly was deemed unfair.

I would support the caucus becoming a primary, where every vote counts fairly. However, Alberta’s argument seems to be more centered about the role of Iowa in the process than the process itself.  His jealousy and spite for Iowa going first is evident; I can see through his ploy of “the state not representing the party.” The fact that it took me twenty minutes of my time to find Alberta’s email address, which should be publicly and easily available, is cowardice by him and his institution Politico. He clearly does not care about creating intelligent discussion, only pushing an east coast, elitist agenda, and generating more clicks on his article.

Disgruntled from Johnston, Iowa

Drew Jauron

Johnston High School Student