Caucuses, candidates, and cola

A&E Seawolf Slug NEW-01-01.jpg

For the purposes of dramatic effect, please read the following two paragraphs in the voice of an old newsreel.


The march of political war!

After a loss in the Iowa caucuses, media mogul and toupee aficionado Donald Trump is on the offensive again after claiming an eleven-point lead in New Hampshire! Senator Bernard Sanders breaks his tie with fellow Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, securing a firm victory! Now, all eyes are on Nevada and South Carolina, as Sanders and Trump hope to maintain their furious momentum!

Alright, I’ve had my fun. Let’s actually talk about the caucuses now.

I think it’s safe to say that any concerns about Bernie’s electability are now dashed. After surprising most everyone by tying with Clinton in Iowa — to the point where Clinton’s narrow victory was considered by many to actually be a defeat — he’s gone on to dominate New Hampshire with a huge 22 point lead. Maintaining his momentum in South Carolina isn’t going to be much of an issue.

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As much as I love Sanders, though — benevolent socialism and hive-minded slugs go hand in hand, after all — it’s the Republican race I’m more interested in.

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Immediately before my tumultuous landing here on Earth in 2013, the Republican establishment frantically searched for a candidate that could sway voters away from incumbent President Obama. There was little doubt as to who was going to get the nomination on the left side. The real drama was who was going to get the right’s. From what my host remembers, it was a real tug-of-war struggle to see who Obama’s next political opponent would be. Candidates would be declared the surefire nominee on CNN, get their faces plastered on TIME Magazine and then fade into obscurity by month’s end, if not sooner.

This is an issue of Republican identity. The GOP is splintered into so many factions and groups that its impossible to tell who will get the most delegates in time for the National Convention. Moderates, Tea Party, fiscal conservatives, social conservatives, libertarians, radicals, neoconservatives… my host’s brain already hurts trying to remember them all, which makes my alien parasitic functions hurt, and that’s just terrible.

Compare this to the Democratic side. There are only two candidates now — Martin O’Malley doesn’t count anymore — one who is extremely progressive and socialist, and one who has flip-flopped between moderate and radical over the course of her political career. You’re not trying to choose between nine different flavors of Republican. It’s a simple “Coke vs. Pepsi” kind of choice. You don’t have millions of different kinds of soda to choose from, just standard cola — although no matter what you choose, people from the other camp are going to try to eviscerate your opinion.

Imagine that, but with seven different brands of soda. Imagine if Dr. Pepper joined the fray, along with the Safeway off-brand — the obvious Ben Carson analogue — along with cherry soda, root beer, and plain old alcoholic beer — the obvious Donald Trump analogue. It’d be a mess. You’d think that people would be open to more brands that way, and that no one brand could have all the customers, but you wouldn’t think it from the way they assault each other on live TV, because, like “Highlander,” there can be only one.

In Nevada, the location of the next Republican caucus, the political attitude has been difficult to gauge. At this point in time, it could go in any direction. Donald Trump looms over Ted Cruz in the polls, but anything could happen. Whatever happens, the people of Las Vegas are going to be very, very sick of political attack ads in the months to come.

To be fair, the people of South Carolina will be too. Let’s be frank, there are way more Republicans slinging feces at each other than there are Democrats.

If you’re a young aspiring Republican, though — there’s no shame in admitting it — you can alter the future. If you, by some strange contempt for human and alien reason, want Donald Trump to win the caucuses, make it so. If you don’t, if you feel that a more reasonable Republican like John Kasich or Marco Rubio would make a better nominee, make it so.

The Alaska Republican Caucuses take place on March 1. If you’re a Republican and you complain about Trump’s dominance in the polls, now — or at least, two weeks time — is the time to put your vote where your mouth is.

As for me personally, as a Slug, I don’t care. Slugs can’t vote, and although I can influence my host’s thoughts to favor one candidate over another, I choose to stay neutral. It’s harmful to look at political elections the same way as a reality show, but as a neutral non-human, I have to admit that this kind of thing is really entertaining.

It won’t matter anyway because of the incoming Slug Armada, but hey, they’re thousands of light years away. I can afford to have a little political fun.