So…young Maeve and that rascal Gerry Mander are at it again…debating the rigging of elections by drawing maps that protect political power and leave democracy in tatters. As usual, headstrong Gerry believes he’s won. But after a well-deserved thwack on the head, he’s again “flushed” out of the scene. Sadly, he’ll be back…unless We the People rise up and demand fair elections.
What do others think about gerrymandering and how it enables the misuse of power? In a sampling of recent Charlotte Observer articles, a poll taken among 60 North Carolina “Influencers” on what drives the fierce partisan divide in NC and the nation, 42% cited gerrymandering as the number one culprit. (Their top issue! More accurately, perhaps, the most reviled issue!)
The Observer reporters state that “Political parties have increasingly abandoned moderates and become more extreme, and fewer people are willing to listen to opposing viewpoints.”
Hear Ric Elias, CEO of Red Ventures, “The biggest issue we have as a state and as a country is that we have stopped listening to each other. We focus far more on what divides us than what unites us”…
…and Hugh McColl, former CEO of Bank of America, when asked what’s driving partisan polarization concludes, “massive ignorance.” Hugh’s right. So few of us pay attention, and it’s costing us dearly.
And if you’re skeptical about the consequences of handing power to miscast leaders who are elected in gerrymandered districts, read on…
Rachel Kubie says, “We have three branches of government and need them all…” In discussing bills appearing in the NC Legislature to change our courts, she remarks, “It’s dizzying, but this much is clear: The Legislature wants power over who gets to the bench.” She continues, “This should set off alarm bells for anyone who’s had basic civics and remembers that three strong, independent branches of government are needed to to keep checks on each other’s power.”
Bob Stephens, attorney to former Gov. Pat McCrory discussed one of six – get that! Six! – constitutional amendments we’ll see on our November 6 ballot. That proposed amendment concerns the legislature’s plan to seize power of the other branches. Stephens notes, “The legislature has tried before to transfer appointment powers…but the NC Supreme Court declared the law in question violated the separation of powers principle in our Constitution and struck it down.” And, “Preserving the principals of separation of powers and the checks and balances it offers are too important.”
Perceptive comments from North Carolinians clearly not among the “massively ignorant.”
Help us purge gerrymandering from our democracy before it’s too late. Tell your friends, your neighbors, your barber, and the nice person serving your lunch. Get in touch with your NC state senator and house representative. Tell them you’ve had enough, that it’s time to Flush GerryMander!!!