Yesterday, I was attacked by one commenter here for not understanding Ohio politics. I was so angry about this, I spent 5 minutes confirming what I said was true and yes, I was right. The GOP has gerrymandered Ohio, a key power state, so that rural voters and GOP neighborhoods have much, much more power in the House of Representatives than minority and urban communities. Worse, the US public doesn’t understand basic gerrymandering politics nor can they understand with misinformation being put out in the media which buries or openly lies about these matters.
And here is an example from a complete jerk who is very smug and very ill-informed but gets published in international papers because he is a lying bastard: Why ‘gerrymandering’ doesn’t polarise Congress the way we’re told | Harry J Enten | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk
So, with at least 50% of the Ohio voters voting for a Democrat for President in the last 6 elections—Ohio has gone Democratic several times in these elections!—why are there only 4 Democrats in the House while all the others are GOP? 16-4 isn’t a 50/50 split! Why are these districts more ‘polarized’? Well, how do you Polarize light?
Polarization (also polarisation) is a property of waves that can oscillate with more than one orientation. Electromagnetic waves, such as light, andgravitational waves exhibit polarization; sound waves in a gas or liquid do not have polarization because the medium vibrates only along the direction in which the waves are travelling.
By cherry picking voting blocks, a state can rapidly become very polarized with the DNC votes concentrated in very specific districts so the Congress person there gets 90% of the minority city vote while the white voters have NO minorities to disturb election there. One quick look at the map below shows the extreme polarization produced by the GOP party leaders, some of whom come from out of state like the Southerner representing the 6th district.
Note at the top of Lake Erie the very, very thin green district: these are middle and upper class whites. Then suddenly there is this fractured, tiny, concentrated 11th District which is overwhelmingly black. Note how bizarre the shape is! The corridors connecting the three parts are one block wide in places! Then there is the 13th District which has a sudden strange splatter at the western edges. The 3rd District is totally bizarre and looks like a bug squashed on a windshield.
All except for the 5th rural District are of the most bizarre shapes possible. This was done to concentrate the Democratic vote centers while cutting them off from Democrats voting outside of the black DNC ghettoes created by gross gerrymandering map making. Gerrymandering is easy to spot: it creeps and crawls all over the landscape and compare the above map with the first Gerrymandering cartoon:
The shape of the 6th district is a reverse image of the above cartoon. Here is the map for Ohio from the last census which was still very gerrymandered but not as insanely chopped up as the most recent map:
Here is a sane proposed map created by political scientists wanting to see if there could be better representation of Ohio voters:
As you may know, Ohio recently passed its new redistricting map for the 2010’s decade. Ohio has a reputation for being the biggest swing state, deciding the election of 2004 and voting near the national average in 2000, 2004, and 2008. One might expect the legislature to draw a map designed to elect an equal number of Republicans and Democrats, so all political parties are fairly represented.
The Republican legislature decided not to do that, instead, they drew a map designed to elect 12 Republicans and four Democrats. To create the large number of Republican districts, they split communities of interest by combining Toledo with Cleveland instead of creating a district representing Toledo and nearby counties.
Also, instead of combining Cincinnati with nearby suburbs, they combine Cincinnati with a string to Warren County, an extremely conservative exurban county. They should have created a district representing as much of Hamilton County as possible because Hamilton County is where Cincinnati and its close suburbs are located. They should then create a district that represents the outer suburbs in Clermont, Warren and Butler Counties. Also, they placed Springfield and Lucas County (Toledo) in the same district.
Another example of their splitting of communities of interest is when they combine suburbs close to Cleveland with not more Cleveland suburbs or Cleveland, they combine it Canton which is south of Akron and should not share a representative with voters who live in the Cleveland area. Canton and Cleveland are two distinct cities with two distinct metropolitan areas. The Ohio legislature should learn the intended purpose of congressional districts.
It was not to help one’s political party while stifling the voice of communities; it was to increase the voice of a community, not a political party. For example, in the 9th district which was drawn to absorb Democratic areas along the Lake Erie shoreline, if Marcy Kaptur (D) from Toledo retired and the district elected a Cleveland politician, the Toledo area will have no representative to go to Washington and fight for Toledo’s interests because a Cleveland politician will not understand Toledo’s interests as well as a Toledo politician would. Toledo has enough people for a district that can be drawn centered around it that would elect a representative who is familiar with Toledo’s needs. Anyway, here is my map that combines communities of interest and creates competitive districts so incumbents will have to tailor to the needs of both parties in order to win reelection.
As we see in the map above, District 6 would be cut in half and twice as wide which means the local voters have much more access to their representatives. And this is a sane way of finding out who represents who.
This is IMPORTANT. Congress is like an out of control car with a drunkard driving. Congress critters represent lobbyists and power brokers not their own voters. This map was drawn up by cynical racists who took advantage of a non-presidential election which always has fewer voters to get out the anti-black in the White House voters. Now, they run things and spent the last several years trying to derail the black dude in the White Guy’s House.
The Senate had more filibusters in four years than in the previous 100 years. The voters who didn’t want American Taliban Christians destroying our civil rights are increasingly angry and frustrated. The fact that Ohio went for Obama shows how severely they have been disenfranchised by GOP map making power brokers. They can’t call their right wing, fundamentalist, gun toting ‘representatives’ because these guys have zero intention of representing Democratic neighborhoods, they intend to RULE these neighborhoods ruthlessly.
All the talk by Romney and his gang about the 47% is GOP talk about the Democratic base and how it doesn’t deserve any political attention or power or control just like in the Good Old Days before the Civil Rights Act. When that law passed, the very first thing I did was sue people for discrimination against me for being female. This Act is of highest importance to me and seeing a bunch of yahoos wreck it maliciously angers me greatly. It is a very important issue along with the representatives being so detached from the voters, they get to sell their souls to lobbies like AIPAC…this is destroying our nation, wrecking our foreign policies and bankrupting everyone.
We will go over many cliffs with this sort of undemocratic system and the worst cliff is the dissolution of our nation as it falls apart along polarized, sectarian lines!
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