The left has nearly exhausted all the ways they can complain about the electoral processes in America. It’s really just an outlet of being sore losers. The latest issue is centered around gerrymandering. They want the Supreme Court to abuse its power and try to end a source of political corruption, but their ideas, as you might expect, are the worst possible alternatives.
What is it?
Here’s a quick review for anyone who hasn’t studies politics. Gerrymandering is the process of redrawing district lines to change the outcome of a vote. The strategy is to group voters of one party together so they win a few districts by a huge majority while the rest of their votes are diluted enough to lose the rest of the districts.
This might be a little abstract, so we’ll use an example to explain. Last year, Hillary won California by about 3 million votes. But, what if we changed how the California election works? If we changed California so the electoral votes were awarded by district rather than winner take all, then Clinton would have won districts centered around Los Angeles and San Francisco. The rural and suburban districts would have been more closely contested, and Trump likely could have won some points there.
This particular example is impossible, but it should give you the right idea. Party lines are fairly split geographically, so gerrymandering is a way for a party to stay in power, even if their popularity wanes. It’s important to understand that every party in the U.S. has done this since the term was coined in 1812.
The Supreme Court
There’s no question that gerrymandering represents some unpleasant business in politics, so why has it persisted for 200 years? For starters, it isn’t expressly covered in the Constitution. Preventing citizens from voting or trying to manipulate the votes themselves are taboo, but gerrymandering skirts through the gray area around these rules.
Historically, the Supreme Court has ruled that gerrymandering is not a judicial issue and must be addressed by Congress. True to their form, Congress has done nothing at all.
Now, a new case is renewing the judicial discussion. In Gill v Whitford, the Supreme Court is examining a gerrymandering case surrounding state-level elections in Wisconsin. They have yet to deliver a ruling, but there is a chance they could break with precedent. If they do anything other than kicking the decision to Congress, they’ll be changing the very nature of elections in America.
There’s no question that gerrymandering creates opportunities for political corruption. There is also no innocent party in this issue. The problem is that there is no simple solution. Gerrymandering is measured by a system that looks at wasted votes. The idea is that when a district is won, every extra vote past the one that clinched the victory is wasted. When wasted votes are disproportionately high for one party, then the gerrymandering is blamed.
The thing is, wasted votes happen no matter how you draw a map. If you do perfectly square grids across a state, you’ll still get misrepresentation. In fact, many “neutral” versions of district maps are more disproportionate than the deliberately gerrymandered versions.
Everyone has different ideas about how to fix the issue, but none of them are objectively better. Every system of election has its own set of pros and cons, and you can trust that the Democrats favor systems that give them the most power.
One of their most popular ideas is called proportional representation. It won’t surprise you to learn that this is popular in Europe. In this version, there are no district lines. If a party gets 40 percent of the votes, they get 40 percent of the representatives. This system empowers urban areas and leaves rural sections with little to no representation. It completely abandons geographical disparities that clearly exist.
Even worse, it reduces representation of minorities. Gerrymandering gives a party majority, but it comes at the cost of ensuring at least some representation for every group. The Democrats argue that they want a more inclusive system, but the one we have is actually optimal for least exclusion. The majority might not hold the most power, but minorities are not completely without a voice.
Gerrymandering deserves your attention. It has problems, and hopefully reasonable solutions to those problems can be found. Before you get too worried, understand that gerrymandering has limits. It has absolutely no impact on elections for the President or Senators. It absolutely impacts the House of Representative and state-level governments, but the most powerful positions in the country are immune to this particular problem.
Check out this video featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger talking about the problems he ran into with regards to gerrymandering while he was governor of California and what solution he used to fix the problem.
~ American Liberty Report