Friday, November 18, 2011

Gerryrigging...Rigging The System For Incumbents

News Flash...your vote does not count in the General Election. It is bad enough that BIG MONEY buys elections, and those that end up in elected office as either a Congressman or a Senator, but even worse that the politicians themselves through a highly private process called redistricting draw up redistricting lines that make it almost impossible for them to lose their seats in Congress.

The dictionary defines the word as, "a district or pattern of districts varying greatly in size or population as a result of gerrymandering".

A perfect example of what is wrong with Gerrymandering can be found in Illinois
Congressman Luis Gutierrez who has been the champion of Illegal Aliens since he was elected almost 20 years ago. His views on this subject go against the societal norms, and he does not care, which begs the question why? His district has been drawn up in a very odd long letter u shape, a large swath of land that runs down the center of the two sections of his district and its population base placed in another district. This odd configuration has given him what amounts to a Latino Super Majority, assuring him his seat almost for life, and allows him to go on national news shows championing a cause that most Americans oppose.

From Wikipedia-The 4th Congressional District of Illinois includes part of Cook County, and has been represented by Democrat Luis Gutierrez since January 1993.

It was featured by The Economist as one of the most strangely drawn and gerrymandered congressional districts in the country and has been nicknamed "earmuffs" due to its shape. It was created to contain two majority Hispanic parts of Chicago

On the opposite side of this same coin is Republican member of Congress Peter T. "Pete" King (hate monger) of New York's 3rd District who has been all over the airwaves yesterday and today insulting the citizen protesters who have been involved in the "Occupy Wall Street" movement. his words of hatred spewed forth on the national airwaves would seem to be enough for him to never again serve in public office...enter Gerrymandering, and you seen realize he has managed through redistricting to give himself a far right Republican Super Majority come election day, thus assuring him his seat, allowing him to play to his base as he throws them the red meat they love to eat.

We supposedly live in a Democracy, but if our elected officials are redrawing district lines to create their own little fiefdoms where they play king, that Democracy has been thwarted, our votes of no social value. CNN has some good information on redistricting, and states the obvious when they state, "Why your vote for Congress might not matter." Gerrymandering more than almost anything else goes a very long way to explaining why America is such a divided country...there can be no compromise, no consensus when our elected officials too often live in a bubble where all they have to do is play to their base, instead of representing the people.