Sorry BidenBros, I Didn’t Vote For Trump
An alternative theory for Sanders Supporters to offer in response to accusations of their implied support for Trump.
On more than a few occasions, I’ve been told by indignant Clinton supporters that if I had voted for anyone but their anointed queen, I’m voting for Trump. Biden supporters have told me that if I vote for anyone other than their jughead in November, I’m effectively voting for Trump. What an interesting, if not insulting theory of cause and effect. It’s not insulting to me because I’ve considered the sincerely deluded source. I’ve written on this topic before, but I think I may have found a better way to respond to such allegations and insinuations.
So let me see if I got this straight. Even though my intention was to vote for Jill Stein in 2016, you’re evaluating my vote as “for Trump”. Even though I intend to cast a write-in vote for Bernie this year, you’re evaluating my vote as “for Trump”.
I have an alternative theory to offer for your consideration:
In the movie, “Slay The Dragon” we see the story of a young woman who started a movement to stop the gerrymandering by both parties, but mostly by Republicans. That movie documents how in the leadup to the election in 2010, Republicans invested $30 million dollars to win elections in key swing states for the purpose of gaining majorities in the statehouses in advance of the census. You know, to have the power to draw new district lines that would put Democrats at a disadvantage in the statehouse even if there was a majority of Democrat voters in the state.
In the movie, they show us that the GOP was so secretive in Michigan, that they moved their entire operation to redistrict the state offsite, to an office in the building across the street. That’s what you do when you know that what you’re doing is WRONG.
The plan engineered by the GOP worked. They got their legislative advantage in all of the swing states they targeted for 2010. They used their power to draw district boundaries that decimated Democratic majorities in the statehouses. And those district maps are still present today.
Democrats could have made this a national issue and put it at the forefront of political discourse for the last decade. They did not. They could have brought this issue to the courts and made those cases national news. They did not. They could have promoted redistricting commissions, “voters not politicians” on a national scale. They did not. Maybe that’s because, in Maryland, they got sued for drawing maps that put a majority of Republicans at a statistical disadvantage. The Brennan Center For Justice has a great summary of pending litigation here.
I suspect that Democrats chose not to make a national issue of gerrymandering because they can see the demographics changing to their favor. They can see that by 2040, whites will be a minority in the United States. And anyone who has followed the political news of the last three years can figure that there is a small, white, wealthy and very powerful minority, that is terrified of losing their power. Well, they’re going to lose it. The question is which party will gain it?
As we saw in 2018, the GOP suffered enormous losses in the United States House of Representatives. They suffered some stunning losses in the states. They lost statehouse majorities, sometimes the governor’s mansion or both. And the GOP has also noticed that the number of states that are using independent commissions to draw district lines has been growing.
Another sign of the terror in the eyes of the GOP is their laser focus on the federal courts, including the Supreme Court. They have been busy confirming as many extreme-right conservative judges for lifetime seats in the federal judiciary as possible. They are even talking to elderly judges and asking them to step down so that they can install younger, more extreme right-wing ideologues as they can. That laser focus is evidence that they too are aware of the shifting demographics beneath them.
There is real irony in Moscow Mitch’s focus on the courts. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is a part of a conservative cabal that incessantly complains about “unelected bureaucrats”. Well, those conservative judges they are installing in our court system, are “unelected bureaucrats”. They’re being moved into position to protect the aristocracy, membership of which McConnell so enjoys being a part of. When McConnell finally leaves office, and it will be none too soon when he does, he will be so rich, he won’t have to face the public or the consequences of his actions.
But there is another irony in this debate. Why didn’t Democrats make a national issue out of gerrymandering? If it was an issue big enough for one woman in Michigan to start a movement to end the partisan gerrymandering in her own state, she would be just the tip of the iceberg. There must be many more unhappy states filled with “safe seats”. A senate or congressional seat that is safe can only be occupied by an “unelected bureaucrat”, regardless of party affiliation or ideological leanings. And I think there are many conservatives who know this. But to them, that’s cool as long as they are Republicans or Democrats In Name Only.
The irony of the silence of the Democrats on this issue is that it would appear that they would like to use the power of the redistricting pen to permanently relegate the Republicans and even conservative independents to minority status. And that task would be made easier given the demographic shifts now in progress. With big data collected from big companies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon, it would be easier now than in 2010, to fine-tune districts for the desired majority without running afoul of the law. The Democrats appear to be silent on the power of redistricting because they would like to use this power for themselves.
If you ask me, all those people who could have made a national issue out of gerrymandering but did not, they’re the ones who voted for Trump. Trump won in 2016 precisely because wealthy and elite Democrats know that their turn at the maps is coming, and they don’t want to give it away. They don’t seem to mind if Trump wins again, and that would explain why they’d nominate someone like Biden to run for president. They really are that desperate to keep their money and their power, so I really won’t be very surprised to see Trump win again. When they voted for Biden, they voted for Trump.