By sabotaging the 2020 census, Republicans make it harder to fight gerrymandering


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/05/19/inconvenient-truths.html


#2

At this point, can we all agree that the Republican party is no longer a legitimate democratic institution? I know many people have thought this for quite some time (like me), but by now it should be extremely obvious. They have a long history of voter suppression, disenfranchising minorities, restricting peoples rights, destroying the environment, bowing down to oligarchs, and serving the interests of corporations over the interests of the people.

While the Democrats are not innocent, I genuinely believe the Republican party has been one of, if not the, most harmful groups to the human race. Combine the effects of Climate Change, unnecessary wars, restricting access to health care, etc. and it will be an absolutely massive number. I could go on, but this is not the place for an essay.


#3

Here in Texas, we have a huge Dem population but we are so badly gerrymandered that we are going to stay red for a long long time. It seemed like as soon as the voting law restrictions on Texas were lifted we got a voter ID law that was found to be racist by the courts. This state cannot be trusted to create our own voting laws and regulations.


#4

Couldn’t it go the other way? High-resolution demographic data is probably important to gerrymandering, I expect.


#5

Definitely, but accurate data makes it much easier to fight against gerrymandering. The Republicans have, for the most part, already done their gerrymandering. Because the burden of proof is on the accuser, only having access to vague data will hurt any movement to reduce or eliminate gerrymandering.


#6


#7

High resolution demographic data in confidential party databases is much more useful than high resolution demographic data available to the public though - it can be used to gerrymander, but is not publicly available to prove there was gerrymandering.


#8

If only this were also the case with the alleged voter fraud that is used as the reason for the voter suppression, I mean, voter ID laws. We, the public, are accused of committing voter fraud, and with no burden of proof these stupid laws are enacted. What ever happened to innocent until proven guilty? Really gets my goat.


#9

I agree. The Republican party has crossed the line and is now a public enemy. Its time to put this dog down.


#10

Not only is it actively working to dismantle and hobble democratic institutions, but by taking away a critical open-source intelligence tool for private-sector planners and marketers it’s also hard to see it as the party of business interests anymore. They’re focused on the preservation of their own power to the exclusion of everything else.


#11

I think this actually works from two directions in the Republican party.

In 1990, I was hired as a Census Taker in rural Alabama. On multiple occasions, I was told things such as, “I don’t want the guv’ment knowin’ my business.” and “You’re just spying on me for the Feds.” We were told that if the residents weren’t cooperative, we should observe and make estimates based on our observations. I had a rifle pointed at me during one of those observations.

From the top down, resisting the Census makes it harder to fight gerrymandering. From the bottom up, it reinforces suspicion and distrust of the government. Wins all around for the Repubs.


#12

That depends on who does and who doesn’t get counted.


#13

We already know that the Red vs. Blue divide is not State vs. State, but rather urban vs. rural. The cities run much farther left than the hinterland.

We also know that US cities have been shrinking for a long time.

My prediction for the 2020 Census, which will be taken by Trump’s people, is that it will discover that the cities have been shrinking much faster than anyone thought, and the rural population is correspondingly larger. Seats in the Congress and the State legislatures will be allocated accordingly.

The result will be that the 2020 election will cement the power base of the rural electorate, who will discover that they have a popular as well as an electoral majority.


#14

Welcome to BoingBoing!

(Look, people we agree with are not exempted from this ritual… ha ha)


#15

But many cities are also growing, and urban concentration in general is absolutely forming into the mega-regions.

The reality is, the only reason Trump is President, is because the electoral college gives more weight to individual voters in less-populated states. Clinton won the popular by a decent margin.

No, the Republicans are totally afraid of demographic trends, and literally have to cheat to win these days.


#16

Census, disenfranchisement, voter suppression, gerrymander.

America is now effectively a one-party state. Accepting that fact is a prerequisite for any chance of changing it.

You ain’t getting out of this via normal democratic methods, because you’re not in a democratic country anymore.


#17

Think we need a powerful third party to draw the more moderate Republicans, and more aggressive Democrats, into. The bad side is, I think it would gut the Democratic party, but it would lessen the lesser of two evils we sometimes have to choose from. If one party got too salty around election time, we could always choose the third. Kasich and Sanders seem to be buddy buddy lately. Just my gut and alcohol talking.


#18

The actual demographics don’t matter nearly as much as who counts the census. With Trump’s people doing the counting, do you think the census can find the facts[1] to be otherwise than what I said?

[1] Or the alternative facts


#19

Gerrymandering towards rural voters creates dilemmas for the GOP when their policies run head first into the ag interests. A border tax will kill ag exports, anti-immigration laws will deplete migrant labor, dropping the tax deduction on interest will hit farmers especially hard, and the healthcare bill will force rural community hospitals to close.


#20

They don’t care about any of that stuff. Or at least, it’s not their primary concern. If it was, they wouldn’t be voting for the GOP.