How do we undo the damage gerrymandering and other attempts to rig elections have done to democracy in the USA?
Anger fueled by lies and distortions about the new Affordable Care act and false charges that Obama was turning the US into a communist state helped the GOP turn out their base en masse in the low-turnout, mid-term election of 2010. With the surge in angry white men voting, the GOP grabbed total control of a number of states, taking majorities in both houses of the state legislature as well as the governor’s office. In such newly red states, Republicans were free to pretty much do whatever they wanted. They launched voter suppression efforts in 31 states in the run-up to the 2012 Presidential election. One thing they apparently wanted to do with their new power was to rejigger voting district lines (gerrymandering) to make it nearly impossible for them to loose seats in the US House of Representatives and in state elections. In several states, the Republican representative can win with just 1 vote for every 2 Democratic votes.
Here are some independent examples:
• Democrats win more votes in Florida, but GOP holds the House.
• Gerrymanders helps GOP hold the House.
• GOP gerrymanders its way to victory.
• Boehner and House Republicans lack mandate to oppose Obama. Regardless of facts, Boehner has claimed such a mandate, and acts as if he plans to use it.
How do we return the nation to something like real democracy, where each one person has one vote despite their party affiliation or what district they live in? Do you think those opposed to authoritarian, single-party rule should call attention to efforts on any party’s part to rig elections, or should we just go along with it under the theory that everybody cheats?
Mind you, this is not a partisan screed. If Democrats do the same in upcoming elections, I will be every bit as critical of them. My interest is in preserving democracy, in protecting it from single-party rule by ANY party.