The typical response to gerrymanding goes something like this: “I learned about that in school. It’s bad.” And that’s the entirety of the conversation. Don’t worry, I don’t blame the other person, I blame our public school system.
Time for an abbreviated civics lesson, boys and girls.
Gerrymander. Verb. (1.) To manipulate the boundaries of (an electoral constituency) so as to favor one party or class; or (2.) Achieve (a result) by manipulating the boundaries of an electoral constituency.
Manipulate Verb. (1.) handle or control (a tool, mechanism, etc.), typically in a skillful manner; or (2.) control or influence (a person or situation) cleverly, unfairly, or unscrupulously.
Either of those definitions sound like a good thing to you, class? No. No, they don’t. I don’t see the words I would like to see like “freedom” or “choice” or “equal/evenly distributed.” I see manipulate unfairly and unscrupulously.
But like most bad things in US Politics it doesn’t have to be this way. A computer programmer (God bless these guys and gals, seriously) has created a program which determines districts without bias (cuz you know, computers aren’t elite racist manipulators) but with compactness. Therefore, the district is decided by where people live instead of how they vote. What a concept!
The US Supreme Court, btw, has said independent unbiased panels deciding voting districts is totally legal. So whats the hold up?
Well for starters, if you set up a power grab you aren’t going to vote to undo it. It’s like all the bloated stuff a congress person or senator gets- we all hate it but they’re always going to give themselves a raise and allow themselves to have lifetime benefits. Let’s be real, if you could give yourself a raise and lifetime benefits you would. Second, see the above- referenced conversation. Most people don’t realize how bad gerrymandering has gotten or that its an issue that’s easily solvable (see computer program).
Maybe some of you will get angry and help me fix this nonsense, too.