Gerrymandering is when one party manipulates the boundaries of an electoral constituency to favor that particular party. It is the dividing of a state, county, etc., into election districts so as to give one party a majority advantage and to deprive the opposing party by diluting it's voting strength. This is done by concentrating the votes into as few districts as possible. Is it illegal? Not yet, but it sure as hell should be. It might soon be a reality.

Elbridge Gerry and the gerrymandering salamander

The term Gerrymanderingoriginated in 1812, after Elbridge Gerry, who was the then governor of Massachusetts, combined with (sala) mander.

The portmanteau was derived from the resemblance of the map of Essex County to the salamander after Mr. Gerry’s redistricting. The first gerrymandering was signed into law on February 11th, 1812, by E. Gerry. It was designed specifically to keep his political party in power.

It is important to note that it is said that E. Gerry was a principled man who often stood up to the popular actions of his own colleagues. Needless to say, he was hesitant to sign the bill. And yet in Republican fashion, that’s exactly what he did. His colleagues redrew voting lines so that the Federalist vote would be concentrated in as few districts as possible while giving Republican Party the lion’s share. And now they have come to do the same with Democrats.

So, it’s time some folks learn a couple of things.

A Republican caused crisis and a threat to American Democracy

The first gerrymandering won the Republican party 29 seats while awarding the Federalists a mere 11 seats. It was immoral at best then and still is now. Sam Wang of the Princeton Election Consortium said that recent changes in gerrymandering represent “one of the major crises facing our system of government.”

It was a Republican that began partisan gerrymandering and it seems they still use it to dominate the political playing field.

But they are stealing from the majority of the American people. They are stealing elections, peace of mind, and faith in a misaligned electoral system. The Democrats have done some redistricting of their own, but only with the intention of granting representation to minorities. Which, if you understand Democracy, is the American way.

I believe that only an idiot would try and say that there is anything fair or just in the manner in which the Republican Party has gerrymandered this nation. We now resemble, to me, a dictatorship more than a Republic or a Democracy.

GOP, racial gerrymandering, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the Republican political agenda

An AP analysis of the 2016 election found four times as many Republican-skewed state Assembly and/or House districts than Democrats. At its core, gerrymandering is racially motivated, but in a political sense. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 prohibited the spreading of black minorities thinly over multiple districts and thus rendering numbers too few to elect black voters’ candidates of choice.

This act was known as “racial gerrymandering”.

After the implementation of the Voting Rights Act, they then created minority-majority districts, where the majority of the voting-age population was part of only one minority. But this has backfired for the African-American. It didn’t give them more political power, in fact, it began to rob them of it.

The GOP seems to have used this glitch to their advantage, once again. Now, experts say, Republicans have been redistricting for political aims while claiming to be majority-minority redistricting. It’s still racial gerrymandering, it’s just repackaged. But, you can coat poo with a chocolate candy shell, and it is still just going to be chocolate covered poo.

And below is a news clip from earlier this year talking about Texas Republicans racially gerrymandering the Hispanic population.

SCOTUS has a decision to make and we hope that McCain and White House made it easy

This is a very crucial time in our American history. Our nation is divided. People have lost faith in the election process. It has become clear, at least in this writer’s opinion, and regardless of Russian meddling, that Donald Trump probably won the election by using gerrymandering to his advantage.

It might not yet be illegal to gerrymander, but it may soon be. Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D) and John McCain (R) have come together with several lawmakers backing them and lending support.

Arnold Schwarzenegger has been a strong supporter as well. The two senators urged the SCOTUS on Tuesday to, “return control of our elections to the people.” They have the backing of a large swath of lawmakers.

Trump and the GOP have robbed the vast majority of the American people of their Democracy. If you ask me, that is the highest of all crimes. But since we have never outlawed gerrymandering in any meaningful way, this is where we are. So, the SCOTUS has a choice to make. Do they want to be remembered in the history books as the group of guys that had the fate of our country in their hands and flushed it down the toilet? Or do they wish to be remembered as possibly noble men and women that saved our Democracy?

I’m not superstitious, but even I have my fingers crossed this time.

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