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In Honor of Jim Moran’s Retirement – Yet another Call to End Gerrymandering in the House of Representatives

A Republic If You Care Enough To keep It II

Eldridge Gerry -His Ghost Still Haunts American Democracy

Elbridge Gerry -His Ghost Still Haunts American Democracy

I’ve long felt that the Congressional Districts comprising the US House of Representatives were so badly gerrymandered that a large cohort of corrupt or incompetent people got elected to Congress that had no business being there. I believe that if we could solve this problem our nation would have a more qualified and capable body of legislators. They perhaps could fix some of our chronic national problems. Therefore, in honor of the retirement of odious Congressman Jim Moran, I again take up the issue of gerrymandering. The time has come in America to draw every congressional district so that within each state each district is an identically shaped exterior polygon with equal population.

Examining the current Congressional maps of most states in the union will convince the observer that these districts were not drawn to accurately reflect any desire to improve representative government. They represent a two party cartel dividing up districts the way iniquitous pirates share out the spoils. This leads to our nation’s legislature being staffed by lower quality individuals who are nearly impossible to get rid of. This can only make it harder for our nation to do the right thing in a correct fashion.

A look at the tragedy of James Moran having a successful career in politics tells us all we have to know about why the current division of spoils is an injustice to the American people. I detailed the “eccentric foibles” of this particular Left-of-Sartre, Drunker-than-Guns-N-Roses, wife-beater, child-abuser, serial-embezzler, anti-Semitic toad in an earlier anti-gerrymandering post. If sadness isn’t your particular kick, why not be amused by the comedic chops of Sheila Jackson-Lee. In fairness, Democrats are not solely to blame for using redistricting shenanigans to put morally or mentally unfit individuals into positions of unearned influence and power. The GOP would certainly want to forget the nomination and election of fake Oregon war hero, Wes “Veins in his Teeth” Cooley. All three of these reprehensible individuals would struggle to get elected to anything if they lived in a district where both parties regularly fielded capable opposition to win the affections of a fickle, divided electorate.

If Congressional Districts were forced to be identically shaped exterior polygons, they could not double back in on themselves or skip along stretches of a river to avoid neighborhoods that housed voters that a particular politician preferred not interface with. The state would still be free to vary the sizes and locations of these polygons within the boundaries of the state, so there would still be some local control of the redistricting process. However, with clear and dispositive rules for what a district had to look like, we would have a far easier time determining what could or could not legally take place in redistricting.

Could politicians still game this system for partisan reasons? Yes they could, yes they would. They just wouldn’t be as effective. “Designer districts” built to elect some politically-connected individual’s protégé would be reduced in number. This would significantly improve the quality of human talent we currently employ in The US House of Representatives.

Wouldn’t Federal limitations on redistricting algorithms curtail the freedoms enjoyed by state legislators? Yes, it would. Limiting the possible permutations by which a state could draw its Congressional Districts would mathematically almost have to reduce that aspect of its sovereign power. This is a respectable conservative objection to what I’ve proposed. Not withstanding, I believe it should be weighed fairly in the balance against the alternative evil of the morally corrupt and intellectually inferior individuals that all too frequently infest our House of Representatives. As long as we as citizens allow gerrymandering, we get the Morans we deserve.

In conclusion, we obviously need to do away with gerrymandered congressional districts. We are sending corrupt and foolish knaves to Congress who are not qualified to represent our people. A massive level of data usage and Operations Research is employed to skew elections one way or the other. My naïve, silly and idealistic counter-proposal is that we use these awesome STEM-smarts to actually cleanse our body politic. It’s not a hard packaging problem to code up 50 algorithms that generate the correct number of identically shaped and equally populated external polygons to represent Congressional Districts in each state. This endeavor would make it way more difficult to rig Congressional elections in advance through malicious cartography. This could make the wonderfully fortuitous retirements of poor, dishonest legislators like James Moran a more frequent pleasant occurrence.

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