Monday, July 10, 2006

The Importance of Ending Gerrymandering

Normally, Mark Rose and I are on the same side of things, or we at least only have differing ideas on how to get to the same desired result; however, I strongly disagree with him on this:

Gerrymandering is simply one of those obstacles the majority party erects to help maintain power. Politics is politics. Deal with it.

This is the conclusion of a post in which Rose criticizes The Tennessean over its new found concern with gerrymandering now that it threatens to favor Republicans. While Rose is rightly minded to point out the newspaper's hypocrisy, he describes gerrymandering as a way of life that must be accepted. The view, commonly held by southern Republicans, is that Democrats enjoyed its benefits for much of the past century, and now it is our turn.

In fact, the problem of gerrymandering is the number one most important need for political reform today: not campaign finance, not lobbyists taking legislators to lunch, not former legislators going to work on K Street. Legislators with carefully tailored safe districts don't have to fear voters, as they will rarely have serious opposition in either primaries or general elections. All of the ethics reform that has been discussed both in Tennessee and nationally neglects the most important government reform measure of all.

If bi-partisan reform could rewrite the laws for redrawing districts, the nation would be the better for it.


Blogger John H said...

Using Rose's logic to the extreme, I should have been able to command the entire back seat on our family trips when I was a kid. My kid sister was given her half of the back seat even though she was five years younger and certainly not as powerful. My parents 'unfairly' drew a metaphorical line between us and told us to stay in our territory.

I don't understand how moral relativism is acceptable to a person who is clearly a conservative Christian. Gerrymandering is wrong regardless of political party or ideology. Why should my vote or your vote be trashcanned because Group A is in power for now?

10:37 PM  
Blogger MCO said...

I suppose that many people see gerrymandering as a valid tool, and don't see its pernicicious effects. Most Democrats in the south were not complaining about it much until recently.

In "The Fellowship of the Ring," Boromir thought that the ring of power should be used for good, now that it was in the right hands. The wisdom of the elves was that its power could not be wielded. It is unfortunate that many don't see the same truth about various instruments of political power.

10:48 PM  

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