Writes a friend:
I'm writing in disappointment after a long night at the local caucus. However, it might interest you to know about it.
I was in Coeur d'Alene, the county seat of Kootenai County, Idaho. There were several caucus locations, and I was at the 2nd largest location, the CDA Resort.
I was amazed by the number of Paul supporters. Pretty much everyone who was passionate about their candidate was supporting RP or Santorum. Very few Romney or Gingrich supporters at all. There were lots of the young RP supporters we hear so much about, but also many, many grey military vets and even a traditional (Latin Mass) Catholic priest with RP stickers and signs. The RP representative got the most raucous applause after speaking, with Santorum's video earning polite applause, and Gingrich's campaign not even bothering to send a representative.
Anyway, when we got down to voting, I think all of the RP supporters were energized by the idea of making a difference. We stood in line, cast our votes, and after the first count a huge cheer went up as the announced RP winning (I won't recall exact #s but these are close) around 215 of 601 total registered attendees. Santorum had about 160, Romney around 115 and Gingrich around 90 (some people had left, they explained, which was why the counts were off). They called in the results to the precinct chair, and I think I speak for all of us when I say there was a bit of stunned silence before the Santorum supporters started whooping it up as the chair announced that county-wide Santorum was ahead by a large margin.
RP won every single time we voted (4 in all). Yet every time they called in the results to the precinct, the overall results showed RP in 2nd to Santorum. The last vote was at midnight, and the networks had long ago called the state for Romney.
I'm not sure what to think of the conspiracy theories about widespread vote fraud. But I know in the caucus I witnessed, RP won by a country mile-- and yet here we sit, with not a single delegate. To say I've lost some faith in the system isn't accurate, since I never had much to begin with. But I am tired and discouraged, and am more convinced than ever that we the people have no real voice in this process.
As we stood watching the vote counting, a priest explained to me that RP was the only true pro-life candidate. He also said he hoped that Paul would run third-party. After this mess, I have to agree. I told one old man, a local state representative who confessed to voting for GW Bush twice before coming to his senses and supporting RP, that I wouldn't cross the street for any of the candidates, yet here I was near midnight away from my warm bed and my family to support Ron Paul. He ruefully said in reply, "Well, I'll have to do more than cross the street for one of them, since I can't vote for Obama." I think this sums up the vice that the powers that be have us in. As you and your writers have been saying for years, the establishment puts up two puppets, and we get to fight each other over which one to elect.
I won't play that game again. I'll write in RP if I have to, or vote straight Constitution Party. But I (and I suspect many of the others at this caucus) will never be taken in by the system.