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From the Left Hand Corner: Get involved

A week from next Tuesday, Feb. 4, do something most people don’t bother to do. Go to your local precinct caucus – Republican or Democrat/DFL.

Take a little time that Tuesday night to seek out and spend an hour or two with your like-minded neighbors. In that small and easy way you will become a valuable part of our political process.

Remember our government is us, or what we allow it to be if we don’t participate.

The word “caucus” is a poor choice of words, particularly when applied to our first step in political party preparation in election years. The dictionary defines “caucus” as a closed meeting of political groupings.

Our DFL caucuses are anything but that. They are, and must be, open because we want them to be as open and public as possible for all who care enough to get involved. The term “caucus” tends to trigger our fear of the unknown.

We only use the term once every two years, so most people simply don’t know what it means. We know what happens regarding the unknown or misunderstood. We react negatively and tend to avoid.

The term sounds scary. The unknowing think it will be complicated and difficult to learn or understand. It is not.

A caucus is not any of the above. It is simply a place where like-minded fellow partisans gather together to share their views on political issues that are important to them and to all of us. Hopefully, you will attend; and if interested, sign on and participate in the caucus (meeting) of your choice.

It doesn’t cost anything (unless you want to contribute to a candidate or cause). It is your time and place to learn about and get started in the projects and campaigns that are gearing up for the election in November.

The precinct caucuses (meetings) are simply friendly sociable neighborhood gatherings. They are usually over in an hour or two. You should be greeted and welcomed on the way in, and thanked before you leave for attending and participating.

Your attendance at your precinct caucus (meeting) on Tuesday, Feb. 4, is a very important step in our less-than-perfect, but still quite unique Democratic process — a privilege that most people in this world do not have.

It is a small, but integral part of what creates the government by which we are governed, whether you like it or not. Together we affect what government we are to have for the coming years. It is a place where you, as one individual, can really make a difference.

Go to your precinct caucus (meeting) on Tuesday, Feb. 4. Enjoy and participate. You’ll be glad you did.