It was in 7th grade – a class called Social Studies – when I was first introduced to ‘gerrymandering’. A whimsical, silly word perhaps, but a truly evil practice. You see, gerrymandering is rigging election maps so political parties can pick their voters. Got that! Like me, you’ve probably assumed that when we arrive at the polls on Election Day, we’re there to pick our representative, instead of our representatives having already them picked us!
How did that happen?
For more than 2 centuries, state legislative bodies (elected individuals who make laws and approve public spending) have finagled and wangled election district maps – essentially “picking their voters” so one political party’s candidate cannot lose. The end result? Viable candidates are shut out. Bogus unqualified candidates are elected, then empowered to ‘run the table’ on We the Public. We crown them ‘honorable’, we listen to them, follow their lead, trust them with the truth. We anoint them ‘leaders’, though far too often they are anything but.
Consequently, unselfish, visionary, compassionate people – those who better represent most of us – are left on the sidelines, unable to compete in previously determined elections. Instead we get arrogant, narrow-minded, often dishonest individuals (Yup! A whole bunch of them in jail, run out of town, disgraced!!) who represent only a tiny portion of their district. Rude, ruthless, disinterested in the viability of functioning community, their focus is often on divisive issues in lieu of important community needs.
We can do better!
From today onward, we begin here (www.flushgerrymander.com) a campaign to inform and educate the public – that’s you, a certified member of We the People – and hope you’ll connect the dots between election rigging – gerrymandering – and our dysfunctional political realm, from the tiniest village to the White House. Leaders elected by devious sleight of hand are only pretenders at best.
Please, please, please pay attention, listen, look around, find your courage and voice. America’s Democracy belongs 100% to We the People…NOT to political parties…and we’re going to pull it back from the edge of extinction. Be smart, active, articulate, civil. Be relentless in pursuit of your legislator’s commitment to a constitutional amendment by 2020 that creates an independent commission of ordinary citizens to draw election district maps. Break the curse with us. Flush Gerry Mander now!!!!!