The Ridiculousness of Gerrymandering


Take a look at this picture:


This may look like a Rorschach test that a sadistic psychologist might give, but it is actually North Carolina’s 12th district, and it is an example of what is wrong with our democracy. Gerrymandering relegates a political party in a state to as few seats as possible. For example, North Carolina’s Republican controlled legislature formed the 12th to stretch from Charlotte to Durham in the most creative (read: calculating) way possible. In this way, the 12th is heavily Democratic (Melvin Watt won with 70% of the vote) and has a plurality of African-Americans. By controlling state legislatures, Republicans could pack Democrats densely into areas to form dark blue districts, and create less dense but more Republican majority districts. This isn’t to say that only Republicans gerrymander; rather, Republicans are just much better at the strategy. (Charlie Cook claims Republicans have more than 180 “safe” seats nationally compared with approximately 135 such seats for the Democrats.) According to Sanford Levinson, “Republicans were able to win a 34-seat majority in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012 despite trailing Democrats by approximately 1.4 million votes overall.” In Pennsylvania, the Democratic candidate won in the Senate race and the Presidential race by sizable margins; however, Republicans won 13 of 18 Congressional seats. All this goes to show the artificial manipulation that gerrymandering has on the House of Representatives. When the will of the people is not accurately and proportionally represented, Congress makes decisions that the population doesn’t agree with and they end up having a 10% approval rate.

Gerrymandering doesn’t only skew the representation in Congress. Gerrymandering is responsible for making moderate, swing districts exceedingly rare. Instead, gerrymandering creates safe, dark red or blue districts. For example, Texas’ 1st District is led by Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX). In what had been a Democratic seat since Reconstruction, Gohmert won the seat in 2004 after Tom DeLay led a redistricting effort in Texas. Now, Gohmert has held the seat for 8 years winning his last three elections by an average of 65 percentage points. In other words, he is untouchable. When districts like Texas’ 1st get drawn, they create career politicians that do not have to fear the wrath of a moderate populace. The representatives in these districts have license to say and do anything they wish, without being concerned about reelection. For instance, Louie Gohmert has:

  • Railed against a hate crimes bill that included sexual orientation as a protected group by saying that it would lead to pedophiles, necrophiliacs, and bestiality being protected by the law too.
  • Created the idea of “terror babies” that were a conspiratorial plot between al-Qaeda and illegal immigrants.
  • Said that John McCain supports al-Qaeda.
  • Claimed that liberal elites were going to use vaccinations to cull the population of the world down to 700 million.

Gohmert was also one of the Tea Party Republicans in the House whose actions directly led to the shutdown of the government. Gerrymandering allows people like this to be leaders of our country, and in all likelihood, Gohmert will continue to be the Representative for the 1st District for the foreseeable future. If gerrymandered districts received greater legal scrutiny or if the United States subscribed to a proportional voting system, a great majority of Congress’ issues would become moot. I believe that the United States is not as ideologically divided as Congress is. Unfortunately, political tactics like gerrymandering obscure that fact from much of my fellow citizens and the international community. Partisan politics is a destructive fire that is consuming our country from within, and gerrymandering is the gasoline that fuels it.


NC 12th image credit:[]

Featured Image Credit:[]

About author

Brooks Cain

Brooks Cain is a senior from Norman, Oklahoma double majoring in Economics and Human and Organizational Development (with a focus on Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness). He is a part of Vandy Fanatics on campus, where he can put his Vanderbilt fandom to work for the student body. In the future, he hopes to dedicate his life to finding innovative solutions for problems on a national and global scale. When not following politics, you can usually find Brooks at the nearest golf course.

  • 릴 게임#1

    May 16, 2019

    Longchamp Pas Cher Why users still use to read news papers when in this technological world all is presented on net?

  • 토토 사이트#2

    May 12, 2019

    Wow, wonderful weblog structure! How lengthy have you ever been running a blog for? you made blogging glance easy. The whole look of your site is fantastic, let alone the content!

  • Entertainment news#3

    May 7, 2019

    time we grabbed a W without a key Injury. That will be a huge blow for the

  • Papuci Vans online#4

    April 27, 2019

    I went over this site and I think you have a lot of wonderful information, saved to my bookmarks (:.

  • volunteer#5

    April 26, 2019

    Thank you, I ave been seeking for details about this subject for ages and yours is the best I ave found so far.

  • small business how to#6

    April 26, 2019

    I’а†ve read several good stuff here. Definitely worth bookmarking for revisiting. I wonder how much effort you put to create this kind of magnificent informative web site.

  • small business marketing#7

    April 26, 2019

    What as up to every body, it as my first visit of this blog; this blog carries awesome and truly fine information for visitors.

  • Caryl#8

    April 22, 2019

    Just wish to share something. I require to submit my blogs to blog sites with so many people reading blog sites. That’s what I need many.

  • best pron#9

    April 22, 2019

    YWwJhg You are so cool! I don’t believe I have read through a single thing

  • Soraya#10

    April 20, 2019

    What blogs do you review for info on the candidates?

  • Tractor Workshop Manuals#11

    April 16, 2019

    ?WileyCanada? A hint – it’s for a sport, popular in Australia, New Zealand and the UK

  • Barney#12

    April 12, 2019

    I maintain a number of blogs & forums as well as allow individuals to create their discuss them. I examine routinely as well as eliminate any kind of promise words, and so on. I likewise ask commentors not to leave any type of bad terms on the blogs/forums. Nevertheless, that said, am i still legally responsible for the web content on my blog/forums if they create an abusive remark or abusive comments?. Lots of thanks.

  • John Deere Repair Manuals#13

    April 10, 2019

    conclusion that you are absolutely right but a few require to be

  • Wendy#14

    April 10, 2019

    I have a diet blog i just started, i have about 3 posts, someone said i should start promoting i now. I thought i should wait until i had at least 10 posts and feedback from a few people in various forums before I promote it so maybe in 2 weeks. What do you think?.

  • navigate here#15

    April 8, 2019

    How do i add third party widgets to free wordpress blogs ?

  • John Deere Technical Manuals#16

    April 6, 2019

    Hey there, You have done a fantastic job. I will definitely digg it and personally suggest to my friends. I’m sure they will be benefited from this web site.

  • see post#17

    April 3, 2019

    I just want to say I am just very new to weblog and certainly liked this web blog. Likely I’m likely to bookmark your blog post . You absolutely have good posts. Thanks a lot for revealing your web site.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *