If you cannot offer a philosophy or a plan that is worthy enough for people to vote for you, all is not lost. Given enough money and organization, you can still win elections by cheating, and reap all the financial rewards that fall on Congress. Republicans, having failed to convince people that what they say makes sense, have turned instead to controlling the country by fraud.
There is no question that states controlled by Republicans devoted a great deal of effort before the November election to subverting the vote by throwing up obstacles for the classes of people most likely to vote Democratic. Close polling places. Get rid of early voting. Limit voting hours. Require a state ID. Post the wrong voting date. “Lose” registration applications. All fraud, all immoral, much of it illegal.
If you can’t win elections with a worthy plan,
you can always win by fraud.
It didn’t work, so they are also attempting to rig the Electoral College and turning their attention to the time-honored fraud of gerrymandering, named for the Massachusetts governor Gerry, who in 1812 drew up new voting district lines that bore a resemblance to a salamander, thus, Gerry-mander. Below are gerrymanders from Florida, Illinois, Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Michigan. Weird, aren’t they? That’s because they make no sense except as tools of disenfranchisement. This graphic is from “The Great Gerrymander of 2012”, by Sam Wang, NYT, 2 Feb 2013. Using common statistical tools, Wang shows that the election for the House was manipulated by systematic gerrymandering by the Republican Party.
The entire purpose of the gerrymander is to disenfranchise the voters of the other party. Gerrymandering requires control of a state legislative body by one party. There are two ways to gerrymander. “Packing” places a lot of the voters you want to defeat into the gerrymander, making it a “sacrifice district”, where they would win anyway. “Cracking” places parts of a party’s voters in various districts where they become a minority. Either way, gerrymandering’s entire purpose is to disenfranchise voters.
The entire purpose of the gerrymander
is to disenfranchise the voters.
Personally, I think the Founders left too many things up to the states, and how to vote is one the feds should be responsible for. This is why our voting system is such chaos. This is why we have to continually battle against politicians who scheme to win by cheating. If the national election process were controlled by the federal government, as it is in most countries, there would be fewer such illegitimate attempts to defraud the voters.
There are no gerrymanders in California. Why? Because California has a districting commission that is bipartisan, and no party can seize control of the process. This should be the practice in all states. But it is not, and it is in Republican-controlled legislatures that such voter fraud attempts are concentrated.
Rather than devoting $30-million to disenfranchisement, as they have, perhaps Republicans should devote a little energy and money toward a revision of their purpose of preservation of wealth and privilege by old white people.