The Tyranny Of “Right Now”

Legendary rock band Queen once sang, “I want it all, and I want it now…”. The desire for instant gratification has been a human desire for as long as there has been human desires. If we have to choose between having something now instead of having something later, then we will almost always choose right now. I believe last night’s Iowa Caucus scandal illustrates this issue perfectly.

Reporting The Election

Watching the DNC election coverage of the Iowa Caucus last night, I observed that news reporters were constantly blitzing voting officials as they were attempting to tally up the votes. Reporters followed these officials from circle to circle, sticking a camera and microphone in their face as they were counting votes. The reporters wanted to know the count even as the officials were counting.

Then to make matters worse, Iowa Caucus voting officials for the DNC were given a software application that was supposed to allow them to instantly report the results of their particular precinct. It’s been reported that the software was not tested ahead of time, and the DNC officials were not trained on how to use it. And why not? Well, because the software company had just finished putting together the software days before it was to be deployed. Nobody had time to make sure the software worked correctly and that election officials would be properly trained in how to use it.

At the end of the day, the 2020 Democratic Primaries in Iowa is a story about a people who were subjected to the “tyranny of right now.” Instead of taking time to make sure things were done properly and accurately, patience was thrown out the window. We wanted to know the outcome and broadcast it to the uttermost ends of the earth the second everyone was done counting.

Knowing right now was more important than making sure every vote was properly counted and recorded. A process that once took days (if not weeks) to determine the outcome of is now considered scandalous if we have to wait more than a couple hours to know the results.

Iowa Is Really About Us

Of course, it’s easy to laugh at such things. We are talking about politics after all. If politicians are good for nothing, they are at least good for a laugh. But this isn’t just a story about politics. It’s a story about you and me and how we all more or less live our lives.

What happened in Iowa is something that you and I are regularly subject to in our daily lives. They tyranny of right now has taken hold of all of us.

We constantly check our phones for replies to social media posts. Unable to pay for something in cash, we whip out the credit card so that we can buy now, and pay later. Life has become busy, so we eat fast food 2-3 times a week instead of taking a couple minutes to cook a healthy meal at home. And we get upset if our smart phones take more than 30 seconds to load a website beamed to us from a satellite hanging thousands of miles above the earth.

As the old saying goes, “Patience is a virtue.” And we feel the need to repeat this phrase pretty regularly because it is a behavior we are so bad at mastering. We hate to wait for anything, even important things like the outcome of an election. After all, we want it all, and we want it now.

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