Make Voting Fair Again, Episode V
So the Empire struck back. Expected when, on one side, a bunch of highfatulin Jedi are trying to explain to the world that an insurance death spiral will occur when young and healthy individuals adversely opt out of coverage due to an increasingly expensive covered population, and the other is marketing snake oil for aches, pains, and warding off terrorists. But I digress. “To summarize: it is a well-known fact that those people who most want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it. To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job. To summarize the summary of the summary: people are a problem.”[i]
In the last several months since the election, everyone, their mothers, on TV and elsewhere, have been punditsplaining the election, what to do next time, and telling everyone to read 1984.[ii] It was the take-over of manufacturing jobs by self-actualizing robots, they said. We need to prevent our impending doom from invading head-loppers, others said. The highest-ever stock market indicators are suffering under the crushing yolk of stream-protecting regulations, some mentioned. Coal is much cleaner than the Sun, which is literally on fire, this kid said.
What wasn’t discussed, however, or at least in the latest mainstream fake-news, was how gerrymandering affected election outcomes. In our last installment, Make Voting Fair Again, we outlined how those in power can cram, divide, dilute, or spread like butter on too much bread, particular subsets of voters with aim to dilute the Franchise. As an update, in November, a federal appellate court struck down Wisconsin’s GOP-drawn legislative map as unconstitutional partisan gerrymandering. That is, the Court determined that the voting district lines were drawn in a way to screw Democrat-leaning voters, and favor GOP-leaning ones—on the basis of political party membership (in contrast to the more traditional subsets of race and socioeconomic divisions). The case is inevitably headed to the Supreme Court, where Justice Kennedy is likely to come correct, whatever the hell that means.
This all goes to say, the battle to make voting fair again, wages on. In fact, while I’m sure former President Obama will continue to campaign and fundraise for others, write and read books, and maybe paint a little, his stated mission is jumping in the trenches to fight gerrymandering. You should too. How? Get a law degree and sue someone--anyone. Make a ton of money, and help fund a lawsuit. Better yet, “Like” something on Facebook or Instagram, because that will change the world.
Or, get involved in State-level politics, specifically, for seats at state legislatures. First, that is where power rests to redistrict, in most states. Second, this is your hood: the liquor store clerk, the neighborhood bartender, your friendly bus driver, the Vietnamese phamily secretly spiking your pho with MSG. You know these people. So knock on doors, fund-raise, and otherwise corral votes for someone you trust, or for yourself, should you run, which you should. Seats in state legislatures can turn on a couple hundred of votes. That’s like half a gymnasium of your school. So go focus on local talent because they, in a way, are the key as to who will be your next Emperor.
[i] Douglas Adams, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (1980).
[ii] I would recommend the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, a step-by-step compendium of useful tactics to find a way to live without the planet Earth.