The Flinchum File
Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions

Wrong + Wrong = Right ??


Democrats did a bad thing!  Back in the 1930’s, they introduced the concept of gerrymandering in Virginia.  Instead of voters picking their legislators, the legislators picked their voters.  Hiding behind the valid concept of redistricting, which is required every ten years following the census, the Democrats packed Republican voters into as few districts as possible.  This made Republican districts more Republican and Democratic districts more Democratic.

Then, Republicans did a bad thing!  They gained control and perfected the science of gerrymandering.  They perfected a wrong.

A current example of gerrymandering is last month’s election in Wisconsin where one party received only 45% of the vote but won 67% of the seats in their legislature.  Something is clearly wrong!

Moderates of both parties have been working hard to correct this wrong.  That makes sense, because gerrymandering discriminates against moderates.   A district that is 80% Republican or 80% Democratic is not likely to elect a moderate.  Extremists or purists accomplish nothing, moderates do.

The current issue of Virginia Business makes the point that demographic changes are certain to turn Virginia blue soon.  That gives Democrats a chance to rise above gerrymandering and to finally banish it, by taking redistricting decisions away from politicians and turn it over to an independent  bipartisan commission.

Right now, Republicans know the elimination of gerrymandering will limit their power.  So, they are hiding in the courts, thinking they still have a chance in the courts to continue gerrymandering, but would not have such  a chance with any  independent commission.  The case is now in the U.S. Supreme Court.

Two wrongs still don’t make a right!  The Democrats were wrong to start this practice, and the Republicans are wrong to defend it.



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