Oh, The Things You Could Be!: Dr. Seuss On Iowa And Its Caucuses

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It’s time for your caucus.
The first in the nation.
All eyes are on Iowa.
What a sensation!

As your KCCIs, WOIs and WHOs
Host the likes of MSNBC and Fox News.
Like everyone, your favorite topic is you.
But now you’ll be everyone else’s fave, too!

OH, THE THINGS YOU COULD BE!

This is a chance to show off your state.
The values and people who make it so great.
You’ll show to the nineteen and nine-tenth’s degree
That Iowa truly is the place to be. 

Except that you… won’t.
You’ve decided to… don’t.

The season kicks off when you hold the State Fair.
All the wannabe anyones have to be there!

The pundits are pacing, preparing to scoff
If Booker‘s too nervous to piss in a trough.
Cameras are flashing in case Buttigieg
Might choke a bit of hot pork cartilage.
And which local morsel will Liz Warren pick?
Look! She’s got a corn dog—and it’s on a stick!

Fried food on a stick?
Such a singular trick!

We need to know who did enough to convince.
Who made you smile? Who made you wince? 
Well, not all of Iowa, no no, not by far.
Just one person serves as your state’s avatar.

The media finds a nice white, hair-of-gray male.
Puts him in a diner or next to a hay bale.
From either party he’s chosen refrainment
(Though talk radio is his main entertainment.)

His thoughts aren’t well thought, but since he has the mic
He’s what the country assumes you are like.

Sure, it’s a bit cynical. People may sneer.
But come February good things will be here.

The caucus! Go caucus!
You might Joe Sestakus!
Democracy’s never been quite so direct.
A chance for the neighbors to meet and connect!
Unless their work schedules do not intersect.

Or if they are facing a child-care plight.
Or their wheelchair can’t climb up the stairs at the site.
But Iowa still gets her one chance to choose!
The winners will win and the losers will lose.
You’ll find the next Harkin, Santorum, or Cruz.

And then… everybody simply moves on.
What the candidates needed you for is now gone.
You might as well be Saskatchewan.
The country is singing; your song is a swan.

You’re left in the cold with such mortification
As superer Tuesdays receive the ovation.
Your interests now viewed with a bland indignation.
(Unless they align with a big corporation.)

The caucus-bound gravy train loses its wheels
As the world’s tiniest violin squeals.
Worse, maybe the mask you wore truly reveals
The things that you actually hold as ideals.

That you’re special not the doings you work
But just from that outdated calendar quirk.
And so for another four years you will lurk
Until you can claim your definitive perk

But maybe you… won’t. 
You could choose to… don’t.

You could be a hub of IT innovation.
Or leaders in bicycle-based transportation.
Capture the wind to make power that’s clean.
Or build an inspiring literature scene.
You could be gymnasts or furniture makers.
And grow more sustainable crops on your acres.

Now building these things takes a terrible fight.
Concern trolls will proudly lament with delight,
Saying “Last one to leave the state, turn out the light!”
Ignore them and all of the noises they bray.
For vision and gumption can carry the day.

So…
Be you Des Moines, or Dubuque, or Decorah,
Or Cumming, What Cheer, Pella, Ames, or Eldora,
Consider the Places 
your Places could be.
When out of the caucus’s shadow you’re free.

IOWA, YOU COULD MOVE PRAIRIES!

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