Soon, political supporters for all the Republican candidates will be traveling to Ames, Iowa to participate in what is considered the most important campaign event during this election cycle - the Iowa Straw Poll. Like a modern day Pythia, the straw poll is believed to be a glimpse into the future. It is widely held that the winner of the straw poll has an increased likelyhood of being nominated by the party, even though this has only been true two out of five times since the poll began in 1979.
Naturally, the common topic of discussion in my circle of friends is how well Ron Paul will do at this event. Wikipedia alleges that his campaign has bid as much as $31,000 for the area closest to the convention floor. This is more than twice as much as is normally paid, but it is a strong indication that his campaign workers are very serious about winning this time around. I sincerely hope that they are successful, and that Ron's momentum continues to carry him to the Republican nomination, and eventually to the White House. If I were less jaded and cynical than I have become, I would be holding my breath like so many of his supporters are doing.
I admit that I have very little faith in our political process. Keep in mind that I grew up very close to Chicago, the city of "vote early, vote often". Rahm Emanuel was recently appointed mayor of the city, right after concerns about his eligibilty were dismissed by a judge. Every night before I go to bed, I reread one of his quotes. "You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it's an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before." I don't repeat it because I want to remember it, but rather because I never want to forget it. (There's a subtle difference.)
I sincerely wish Ron Paul success in Iowa and through the rest of the campaign. I support his ideology without question or reservation, however I refuse to get my hopes up prematurely. I'm interested to hear what my readers think his chances are, and what can we do if our efforts are thwarted once again. Let me know what you think.