Time to get serious about 2012

For more information about how to get involved in the caucuses, check out www.nvdems.com and www.nevadagop.org.

Thanksgiving is over, and it’s December, which means it is about time to start preparing for the 2012 presidential election caucuses. Consider it the political equivalent of grocery stores selling Christmas decorations before Halloween is over.

For Nevada Republicans, the Feb. 3 caucus presents an opportunity to nominate a candidate for President of the United States from a fine lineup of terrible choices. This final caucus date came after a bit of arguing among the state parties—and some tantrum-throwing on New Hampshire’s part—throughout October over the early caucus lineup.

However, the caucus is not just important for Nevada Republicans. Although we aren’t burdened with the task of choosing from several terrifying candidates like the Republicans are, Nevada Democrats also must begin working to mobilize voters and once again prove that Nevada can have a strong impact on national politics. The Democratic caucus is Jan. 21. Theoretically, Democrats have it easier because we can already assume our candidate’s identity. This caucus isn’t really going to shake up too much drama for Nevada Democrats. There is unlikely to be a surprise ending, despite the fact that there are some really intriguing performance artists who wear boots on top of their heads as political statements in the running. (Well, there’s one of those, anyway.) That President Obama guy seems to already have his foot in the door. Actually, he has most of himself in the door. Actually, he already lives in the White House.

And although the majority of us are displeased with him to a certain degree for one reason or another, he’s still far superior to the Republican options. Seriously.

In 2008, Nevada, with the backing of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, moved its caucus dates up in order to be among the first few states to vote. The move marked Nevada’s growing influence in the Western United States and in the country as a whole. Candidates should care about the issues that affect Nevadans because our elections now impact the rest of the country in a number of ways.

Nevadans should continue to increase this influence each year, and there is no time like the present to begin some heavy-duty campaigning. I want to receive phone calls every hour on the hour. I want volunteers to chase me down on the streets as I try in vain to avoid eye contact. Although it has been enjoyable watching the Republicans work out the kinks with their candidates, Nevada Democrats must start taking the 2012 election more seriously.

Yeah, we’ve all been having a laugh at the election so far. Herman Cain released that campaign ad featuring his chief of staff, Mark Block, dramatically smoking a cigarette to a terrible, autotuned patriotic song. Michele Bachmann accidentally told a crowd in Iowa that she relates to the famed serial killer John Wayne Gacy. I can understand why you’d want to laugh—if only to keep from crying.

These are some really, really excellent reasons to take the caucus seriously. This is the start of the 2012 election home stretch, and as a state that is new to having such an influential position in the election, Nevada needs to start pretty early in order to kick it into high gear in time for a monumental finish. It would be easy to allow the current political climate overwhelm Nevada Democrats into complacency, but it would be better to allow it to motivate us to turn out impressive numbers for the election.