In the past year or so, I've spent quite a bit of time discussing the upcoming presidential election, and hopefully I've been able to make a few of you that much more interested in the political process, if only for your own personal amusement - not so much because you think you can have any real effect on the system.

Because I'm not sure how much of an effect any of us can really have on anything, especially voting for either of the two major parties in one of these elections.

Take for example the Iowa Caucus, which is going on as we "speak." Retarded though it may be, the Iowa Caucus is as important as shit. In 2004, it completely changed the course of the primaries and all but sealed the fate of humanity.

Going in, Howard Dean looked like the guy to beat. But then he came in second place or whatever and made himself look like a complete fucking nutjob. Which had the effect of making John Kerry, whom hardly anyone was particularly passionate about, seem way more electable. He got the nomination and, a few months later, more or less handed the presidency right back to his old Skull and Bones bro from college, President Sieg Howdy.

As important as they are though, I wouldn't be surprised if hip-hop had literally no effect at all on the Iowa Caucus. As has been discussed in the press leading up to tonight, the average participant in the Iowa Caucus is white and middle-aged, if not older. Only about 2.5% of the state's population is black, and probably not very many of them will be participating. Which is of course hardly representative of the nation as a whole.

Having gone to college out near the Missouri-Iowa border, and having spent the past few years corresponding with people from all over the place, I know a few young people from Iowa and even a few hip-hop heads, though no actual black people. However, I don't recall any of them mentioning anything about going to caucus night. What about you fruits? By chance, are any of you from Iowa? And if so, are any of you headed to a high school gymnasium tonight?

The black (-ish) candidate might still scratch out a win anyway, to hear the polls tell it. And who are we even kidding? It's not like the bulk of the support for Barack Obama is coming from black people, even in states that actually have black people. I've already broken down for you fruits elsewhere on this site how black women and the black political establishment aren't necessarily riding with the senator heading into the primaries.

Jesse Jackson, for example, has yet to offer much in the way of support (at all), though I'm not sure what his official stance is at this point. And Al Sharpton, as recently as the other day, said he's waiting until South Carolina, at which point he's throwing his support to either Hillary Clinton or John Edwards. So not only is he not supporting Barack Obama, but he's actively trying to throw Obama under the bus in a state he can't afford to lose. Damn.

Other interesting endorsements:

-Ralph Nader, whom many accuse of spoiling the 2000 election for the Democrats, and who's become somewhat of a pariah on the far-left, has endorsed John Edwards, presumably (based on his comments) to spite Hillary. For what it's worth though, John Edwards (now that he wants something) is beginning to sound more and more like Nader circa '04.

-In 2004, Dennis Kucinich threw his support to John Edwards after losing in Iowa, which had the effect of making a lot of the people who campaigned for him wonder why they bothered in the first place. And now this year he's made the bizarre decision to sort of preemptively concede defeat and throw his support to Barack Obama, rather than John Edwards.

-Rounding out the trifecta of liberals who are actually liberal, Michael Moore basically said fuck all three of the leading Democrats headed into Iowa. He supported Hillary in the past, partly because he wanted to bang her, but now he's pissed at her votes for the Iraq War and her being in the pocket of the health care system. And he says Obama is hardly better.

As wacky as these caucuses can be, it'll be a while before we know what went down, and it might be a while still before we know what it all means. Barack Obama might win and it might not mean a whole lot, since, as I mentioned before, Iowa is hardly representative of the country as a whole. Or it could be a situation like in '04 where one night ends up fucking someone's whole shit up. For the sake of my own personal amusement, I hope it is.

Either way, like I said, the Iowa Caucus is fucking retarded. For all we know, it might decide who our next president will be, and none of our opinions will have meant shit. I thought this was a democracy!