Lewis Carroll Nails the Iowa Caucuses

What a night!

Five candidates now claim victory in the Iowa caucuses. Since Hillary has beaten Bernie by nothing more than a nose hair, the Bern is triumphant. Though Ted has decisively thumped Trump, the Donald is "honored" to have finished second, and Marco has ardently thanked Iowans for making him third: "You believed in me," he said, "when others didn't think this night would be possible."

You might not think anyone could have predicted these results, but they were brilliantly foreseen just over 150 years ago, when Lewis Carroll wrote Alice in Wonderland. Just have a look at this passage from Chapter 3:

"What is a Caucus-race?" said Alice; not that she wanted much to know, but the Dodo had paused as if it thought that SOMEBODY ought to speak, and no one else seemed inclined to say anything.

"Why," said the Dodo, "the best way to explain it is to do it." (And, as you might like to try the thing yourself, some winter day, I will tell you how the Dodo managed it.)

First it marked out a racecourse, in a sort of circle, ("the exact shape doesn't matter," it said,) and then all the party were placed along the course, here and there. There was no "One, two, three, and away," but they began running when they liked, and left off when they liked, so that it was not easy to know when the race was over. However, when they had been running half an hour or so, and were quite dry again, the Dodo suddenly called out, "The race is over!" and they all crowded round it, panting, and asking, "But who has won?"

This question the Dodo could not answer without a great deal of thought, and it sat for a long time with one finger pressed upon its forehead (the position in which you usually see Shakespeare, in the pictures of him), while the rest waited in silence. At last, the Dodo said, "EVERYBODY has won, and all must have prizes."