“Political Moneyball: America’s Unfair Elections and the Republicans’ Art of Winning Them” →

Jason Kot­tke shares his thoughts on Amer­ica’s elect­or­al sys­tem (and some great C. G. P. Grey elec­tion videos):

More than any­thing for me, this is the story of polit­ics in Amer­ica right now: a shrink­ing and in­creas­ingly ex­trem­ist un­der­dog party has punched above its weight over the past few elec­tion cycles by meth­od­ic­ally ex­ploit­ing the weak­nesses in our cur­rent polit­ic­al sys­tem. Ger­ry­man­der­ing, voter sup­pres­sion, the passing of voter ID laws, and spread­ing pro­pa­ganda via con­ser­vat­ive and so­cial me­dia chan­nels has led to dis­pro­por­tion­ate Re­pub­lic­an rep­res­ent­a­tion in many areas of the coun­try which they then use to ger­ry­mander and pass more re­strict­ive voter ID laws.

Ex­actly right. Take my home state of Utah as an ex­ample. Utah has 4 seats in the fed­er­al House of Rep­res­ent­at­ives. Cur­rently, all 4 of those seats are held by Re­pub­lic­ans. Utah, while (in)fam­ous for be­ing a “deep red” state, is not 100% Re­pub­lic­an. Based on the res­ults of 2016’s statewide elec­tions, Utah is “only” 64%1 Re­pub­lic­an. There­fore, at least one of Utah’s seats should be held by a an­oth­er party, if elec­tions were to be ac­tu­ally rep­res­ent­at­ive of the will of the people.

If you, like me, are con­cerned about where our coun­try is headed after this year’s elec­tion, work­ing to de­feat Trump in 2020 is simply not enough. Par­tic­u­lar can­did­ates like Trump are symp­toms of the prob­lem, not the cause. We need to fix Amer­ica’s demo­cracy at a much more fun­da­ment­al level than just vot­ing out a spe­cif­ic, dis­taste­ful dem­agogue.

  1. To ar­rive at the 64% fig­ure, I av­er­aged the per­cent­age of Re­pub­lic­an votes for all of the 4 Utah statewide of­fices up for elec­tion in 2016: Gov­ernor (66.75%), At­tor­ney Gen­er­al (65.41%), Aud­it­or (63.23%), and Treas­urer (61.23%). As of Monday, Decem­ber 5, 2016, the res­ults have not been cer­ti­fied as fi­nal but I don’t think they will change much. I in­ten­tion­ally did not in­clude the pres­id­en­tial race, as Evan McMul­lin’s in­de­pend­ent run split Utah’s Re­pub­lic­an votes for pres­id­ent. 

via: Daring Fireball