Letter from the Editor: Hillary Clinton did not win the IA caucus

NICK FISHER, Executive Editor

Hillary Clinton did not win the Iowa Caucus. We don’t know who did.

Now, if we as Iowans subscribe to the simulacrum that Clinton won an election that no person or group or statistical measure can confidently say won, we are doing the democratic process a disservice. Because in something like this, if we agree on a winner to a winner-less contest, that agreement becomes law — becomes Truth.

But the fact of the matter is that the caucus system has always been inefficient — the horror stories can be heard as recently as the 2012 GOP caucuses. And I, participating in my first caucus, saw this inefficiency and this strange process firsthand. My own precinct encountered a website glitch that delayed results.

News outlets, including the Des Moines Register, have reported the horror stories in addition to website glitches: coin flips, caucus-goers leaving in the middle of the process and missing precinct totals.

And the latter is the most egregious. As the Register reports, there were precinct captains scrambling to report results to the Iowa Democratic Party (IDP) officials who didn’t care to listen.

There are complaints of untrained, inexperienced caucus captains from around the state — including from Iowa State University. There is no blame to be placed here; the system as it stands is a petri dish for human error.

Andy McGuire, the chairperson of the IDP, told the Register that a recount will not happen — the contaminated, chaotic and downright questionable results are final.

The Register reported that the Sanders campaign had its own app, which allowed the reporting by volunteers directly from precincts. The campaign has found discrepancies with official results and wanted a chance to review the paperwork. McGuire said no.

It is important to note that Sanders may have lost. And that’s true, but transparency and the willingness to review results are antidotes to confusion.
Perhaps it’s more important to note that we will not see this transparency. The Democratic Party is rampant with surreptitious, sinister ties to its establishment candidate, Clinton. This is true of the Iowa Democratic arm as well.

But why would the party place such importance on weaving a narrative of Clinton as an Iowa victor? Because language is important; stories are important. Especially in winner-less competitions.

The party must preserve its unity, and when there is a challenge to that unity surrounding a predetermined candidate — in the form of a statistical tie — the preservation of the story becomes fragile.

The only cure for the divisiveness of such an event is the story: Clinton is the candidate of unity. Iowa came together and decided that Clinton should be the nominee.

We must call upon our state leaders to say yes to truth and transparency and say no to constructing preservative fiction.

Log on to change.org and search: “Iowa Democratic Party caucus fraud” and sign the petition to call for chairs to cooperate with a recount.