Gerrymandering – the Self-Inflicted Cancer

We the people

At this point in our nation’s history, Republicans are the primary practitioners of gerrymandering. In fact they have computer programs to help them carve up the electorate to a fare-thee-well. But Republicans are not the only ones wielding the knife. It has been used by both parties to give themselves an advantage for as long as the Republic has existed. Whoever is in power when the National Census is completed gets to call the shots.

Many decry this practice, especially when it is used against them or their party. But when they’re in power do they try to end this reprehensible practice? No, they turn around and do the very same thing.  And so it goes…cycle after cycle…rigging the system so that a minority of voters can elect a majority of the seats in Congress. Will it ever end?

Probably not.  Not if it’s up to the politicians themselves. They are not trying to gain power so they can set everything up right and fair, they want power so they can be the ones doing the rigging. So I’m afraid it all comes down to us. If this is going to change, it will change because we citizens rise up and say “Stop it!”

Republicans and Democrats…liberals, conservatives, and moderates…EVERYONE benefits over the long term when things are fair and equitable. That’s why the Clean Elections Amendment (Section Two) takes redistricting OUT of the hands of the politicians and puts it under the authority of the Judiciary.

I certainly understand the desire on the part of politicians to keep the status quo. There is an innate desire to feather their own nests, but I will even grant that some want an  advantage in hanging onto power because they think their ideas are the best for the country. Letting the “other party” take control would send the country down the “wrong road”.

But are we as a country best served when one party is dominant over many years? My observation is that when a party is in power too long, they get sloppy. You see members of the dominant party getting caught up in graft or scandals or any number of careless peccadilloes. Is that because that party’s ideals or policies are inherently corrupt? No, it’s because they’ve been in power too long. It’s actually healthy for the country to bounce power back and forth frequently between the two parties, to keep each other on their toes and keep them from getting too full of themselves.

Gerrymandering is a self-inflicted cancer. We need to excise it from the body politic, and the Clean Elections Amendment is just the scalpel to do it. Make sure anyone you vote for this November has promised to vote in favor of the Clean Elections Amendment!

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