[Politics]Gerrymandering the cases and their impact on the 2020 elections.

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We have a number of gerrymandering cases working their way through the courts currently that will greatly impact the 2020 elections.

As many are aware Republicans have been using a program to maximize their gerrymandering efforts, and it has been extremely effective.
see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/REDMAP

There is a deep unfairness here that increasingly undermines democratic legitimacy. Aggressive Republican gerrymandering after the 2010 census helped the party to win a majority of House seats in 2012 even though it got fewer votes across all congressional districts.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/19/opinion/gerrymandering-districts-multimember.html

In Michigan Thursday, it was ruled they had to redraw the maps prior to the 2020 election:

LANSING, Mich. ? A three-judge federal panel ruled Thursday that Michigan's congressional and legislative maps are unconstitutionally gerrymandered, ordering the state Legislature to redraw at least 34 districts for the 2020 election.
The decision also requires special state Senate elections to be held in 2020, instead of 2022 as scheduled.

The judges said 34 of the 162 congressional and legislative districts drawn by Republicans in 2011 violate Democratic voters' constitutional rights, including by diluting the weight of their votes. They gave the GOP-led Legislature until Aug. 1 to submit new maps, which would need the signature of Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. An appeal is likely.

GOP lawmakers who intervened in the suit have said the entire proceeding should be halted until the U.S. Supreme Court rules on redistricting cases from North Carolina and Maryland.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/judges-michigan-must-redraw-congressional-legislative-maps/ar-BBWi89E?ocid=spartandhp

I worry though that Republicans may be successful at delaying this due to appeal and BS'ing as they have in other states:

MADISON - Republican lawmakers are asking a federal court to put off an April trial over Wisconsin?s election maps now that the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear gerrymandering cases from other states.

https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/politics/2019/01/08/lawmakers-ask-court-delay-wisconsins-gerrymandering-cas/2514171002/

I am also concerned that since Trump has been stacking the federal courts, including the supreme court, that thy may allow this extreme gerrymandering to stand cementing the republicans ability to make this even worse than it is. They already make it so democrats have to win by a lot to barely break even, or even lose seats, if allowed to continue, it will make it near impossible to unseat republicans in these districts.
There have been a number of solutions offered to remedy this long term, one of which suggests to eliminate single member districts:

But a better approach would be to revamp the antiquated electoral institution that makes elaborate districting schemes both possible and so profitable in the first place ? the single-member district. Increase the size of districts (and use ranked-choice voting to improve proportionality) and the predictability of results declines, making gerrymandering far less effective.
It?s a truism across nations ? the larger the size of the electoral district, the less effort expanded on gerrymandering. This is a primary reason that the United States is the world leader in gerrymandering: It is one of only a handful of advanced democracies that still use single-member plurality-winner districts.
It?s not just that single-member districts make gerrymandering easier. They also make the stakes higher. The polarized two-party system of today is largely a product of our single-member, plurality-winner districts, which render votes for third parties ?wasted? and discourage the formation of alternative parties. With the country having only two, highly competitive parties, aggressive gerrymandering is almost inevitable. When elections are close and competitive, parties have a strong incentive to try to get every possible advantage. And when partisan loyalty is high, voting is predictable enough to make gerrymandering practicable, even more so given modern mapping technology.
Gerrymandering is also a particularly American problem because the United States is one of only a few nations that leaves districting to partisan legislatures. But even an independent redistricting process still keeps in place the single-winner district.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/19/opinion/gerrymandering-districts-multimember.html

So do you even think it possible that the US would be able to or even willing to change this to remedy it long term any time soon or are we stuck with this awful broken system because it enables those who benefit from it to maintain their control so they will not be willing to give it up?

Do you live in a nation that uses a better system than this to prevent gerrymandering and how does it work?

Do you think they will be able to have maps redrawn before the 2020 elections or will it just be tied up in courts forever?

This is such a problem in the US, and I am not sure how or if it will even be resolved anytime soon, but it really needs to be.

It is severely worrying, am not sure I can add much right now that isn't some form of unproductive anger at every thing responsible for perpetuating this type of cancer. There needs to be serious, loud organised movement and passionate candidates proposing the necessary change to undo all the lying, theft, murder and cheating allowed to fester under flimsy guises. The area of profession attracts the utter worst example of human, so it is absolutely crucial for others to realise their responsibility in standing up against them and the full inevitable repercussions of not doing so. Parents at the very least should care about the future being laid out for the newer generations.

Lil devils x:
Do you live in a nation that uses a better system than this to prevent gerrymandering and how does it work?

In the UK national constituency boundaries are drawn up by independent government-sponsored bodies called Boundary Commissions (there's one for each of the four component parts of the UK). These are overseen directly by Parliament: they are technically chaired by the Speaker of the House of Commons (the notionally independent MP responsible for the orderly running of the HoC) although traditionally he/she is not involved in the work of the Commissions.

The Commissions are run by the deputy chairman, who is a serving judge, with support from two commissioners appointed by the Speaker after open public consultation. The Speaker, upon request from a Commission, can also appoint assistant commissioners as required to help them do their work, and their roles are made publicly known.

Each commission oversees constituencies on a regular basis, looking a wide range of factors (chiefly population, but also issues like specific regional and cultural character). It then sends its recommendations to the relevant Secretary of State (for Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, or the Home Secretary of the UK for England). The Secretary of State will then set the legislation before Parliament for voting. In practice, the relevant Secretary of State has the discretion to alter the recommendations, however this power has never been exercised.

Local government constituencies have separate boundary commissions, but basically work through a similar process.

Don't fear gerrymandering, it's strategically stupid in the first place.

The plan in gerrymandering is to concentrate opposition into a few voting districts and spread yourself thinner over many so you win more districts. If you have, say, 5 districts with collectively a 50/50 split between Democrats and Republicans, you can make one district that's 90% Democrat and the other 4 districts go Republican in a 60/40 split. It sounds effective in theory, and I'm sure at times it has been, but the whole theory is counting on voters to be predictable and partisan. It just seems to me senselessly reckless to try and plan winning districts by thin margins in a nation with 40% independents. If you think Republicans have gerrymandered themselves into winning, run a candidate that picks up independents and sweep the whole state.

That's part of the talk of the 2016 election. Clinton largely ignored places without her base and was screwed. Some people are upset that swing states exist and have seemingly higher weight by being purple in nature, but the answer is to just win the close battles! Stop trying to ride a blindly partisan base of support to victory that leaves you disadvantaged by where they live, and actually run a good campaign, and watch the gerrymandering backfire spectacularly.

tstorm823:
Don't fear gerrymandering, it's strategically stupid in the first place.

The plan in gerrymandering is to concentrate opposition into a few voting districts and spread yourself thinner over many so you win more districts. If you have, say, 5 districts with collectively a 50/50 split between Democrats and Republicans, you can make one district that's 90% Democrat and the other 4 districts go Republican in a 60/40 split. It sounds effective in theory, and I'm sure at times it has been, but the whole theory is counting on voters to be predictable and partisan. It just seems to me senselessly reckless to try and plan winning districts by thin margins in a nation with 40% independents. If you think Republicans have gerrymandered themselves into winning, run a candidate that picks up independents and sweep the whole state.

The way Democrats can beat gerrymandering is by appealing to conservative "independents" who certainly don't vote along partisan lines, says the conservative.

Oh boy.

Stop trying to ride a blindly partisan base of support to victory that leaves you disadvantaged by where they live, and actually run a good campaign, and watch the gerrymandering backfire spectacularly.

Time and time again, it's been proven that Democrats perform better when dropping the whole bi-partisan tepid right-wing BS, energizing your base is a far better strategy than trying to appeal to the other side's base. Republicans get this, the day the Dems start doing the same is the day they'll able to flip the map. Just look at all of the polls about the hypothetical Sanders v Trump 2016 scenario if you want any evidence of that.

tstorm823:

Stop trying to ride a blindly partisan base of support to victory that leaves you disadvantaged by where they live, and actually run a good campaign, and watch the gerrymandering backfire spectacularly.

Didn't Trump win by riding an extremely blindly partisan base of support? See that's the problem with gerrymandering. It has allowed one party to stay in power by caring only about its partisan base and is forcing the other to betray its base to pander to "moderates" (and still risking to lose due to a lack of appeal towards the base).

generals3:

tstorm823:

Stop trying to ride a blindly partisan base of support to victory that leaves you disadvantaged by where they live, and actually run a good campaign, and watch the gerrymandering backfire spectacularly.

Didn't Trump win by riding an extremely blindly partisan base of support? See that's the problem with gerrymandering. It has allowed one party to stay in power by caring only about its partisan base and is forcing the other to betray its base to pander to "moderates" (and still risking to lose due to a lack of appeal towards the base).

...And losing by having more people vote for you at that. Go figure. Who would have thought that getting more people to vote for you would mean you lose. That is how screwed up this really is.

generals3:

tstorm823:

Stop trying to ride a blindly partisan base of support to victory that leaves you disadvantaged by where they live, and actually run a good campaign, and watch the gerrymandering backfire spectacularly.

Didn't Trump win by riding an extremely blindly partisan base of support? See that's the problem with gerrymandering. It has allowed one party to stay in power by caring only about its partisan base and is forcing the other to betray its base to pander to "moderates" (and still risking to lose due to a lack of appeal towards the base).

Yes, but obviously, Republicans shouldn't have to appeal to new voters, it would have unfair to them to force them to move even barely to the left of their current positions.

Also, should Democrats ever try to gerrymander on the same scale as the GOP does, then it obviously would be a soft coup, and they should be ashamed of themselves for desecrating the sanctity of the God blessed American democracy.

Fixing gerrymandering would not make the United States democratic (or Democratic, for that matter), but it would help.

Partisan gerrymandering is frosting on the oligarchic cake. Gives it a nice racist flavor.

Sonmi:

Time and time again, it's been proven that Democrats perform better when dropping the whole bi-partisan tepid right-wing BS, energizing your base is a far better strategy than trying to appeal to the other side's base. Republicans get this, the day the Dems start doing the same is the day they'll able to flip the map. Just look at all of the polls about the hypothetical Sanders v Trump 2016 scenario if you want any evidence of that.

But the thing is, politics isn't really binary that way. Any party or candidate is welcome at any time to address issues that aren't polarized or offer a solution to a problem that isn't embraced by either party distinctly. The bi-partisan tepid BS you speak of is someone going like "I'm vote along the Democratic Party line except for gun rights" or "I'm entirely owned by the Republican party except I want a public healthcare option" and what they're doing is a cynical play to either differentiate themselves from the field or try and grab single issues voters. If the compelling thing about Bernie Sanders was how far left he was, how much he could pull people that way, I don't think he would have his popularity. If that's all it was, there are more socialist candidates in the country, whole parties of them. I think the compelling thing about Bernie Sanders is that he at least appears to have an ideology, where other candidates are just saying anything they can to rise in popularity contests. The pro-gun Democrat falls flat because what's the ideology there? Usually it's just "I'm from a rural state". How can you get excited about a candidate whose positions are whatever way the wind is blowing.

If you have to pick between extreme ideologue and pragmatic centrist, the extreme ideologue has more going for them, but most of the population of the country is neither of those things. Most people are closer to center than either party and base their positions on personal ideology rather than political pragmatism. Run the candidate who actually fits that mold.

generals3:

Didn't Trump win by riding an extremely blindly partisan base of support? See that's the problem with gerrymandering. It has allowed one party to stay in power by caring only about its partisan base and is forcing the other to betray its base to pander to "moderates" (and still risking to lose due to a lack of appeal towards the base).

No, he didn't. Donald Trump is a 20th century Democrat that won by pulling prior Obama voters to his base of support. You have to rewind a bit, because his tenure as president has been colored by Republicans patronizing him and getting his cooperation and Democrats antagonizing him and that makes it seem like he's a picture perfect Republican, but he definitely wasn't that during the election. He was strongly against illegal immigration, but was also against US military intervention. He was against regulation, but also promised that he wouldn't touch entitlements. He spoke highly of a Christian America and then also lifted high an LGBTQ pride flag. To borrow from Wikipedia: "Trump has proposed sizable income tax cuts and deregulation consistent with conservative (Republican Party) policies, along with significant infrastructure investment and protection for entitlements for the elderly, typically considered liberal (Democratic Party) policies. His anti-globalization policies of trade protectionism cross party lines.[3] Trump has said that he is totally flexible on very, very many issues.", his political positions have been described as "eclectic, improvisational and often contradictory." And in many ways, he's the moderate candidate people think can't win, it's just his rhetoric isn't moderate like his positions are.

And while he campaigned on these cross party issues, there was a huge swath of the conservative base trying to organize a "Never Trump" movement. Many of them were hypocrites who gave up after the primary, but there's a substantial list of prominent conservatives including a chunk of the House and Senate Republicans who vocally refused to vote for president in 2016. Donald Trump did not campaign on issues along party lines, he did not draw his base along party lines, and any suggestion that the election of Donald Trump was a partisan Republican effort is ignorant of that entire election.

Sonmi:
Also, should Democrats ever try to gerrymander on the same scale as the GOP does, then it obviously would be a soft coup, and they should be ashamed of themselves for desecrating the sanctity of the God blessed American democracy.

I know this is sarcasm, but... I could get behind this statement.

Obviously though, I do believe the GOP's current actions constitute that same (in this case non-hypothetical) "soft coup, and they should be ashamed of themselves for desecrating the sanctity of the God blessed American democracy."

Seanchaidh:
Fixing gerrymandering would not make the United States democratic (or Democratic, for that matter), but it would help.

Partisan gerrymandering is frosting on the oligarchic cake. Gives it a nice racist flavor.

I honestly don't think it can be truly democratic as long as $= voice due to the 1% being the only ones to be heard as they have all the $. Having all the $ = having all the voice. We cannot even get " middle class" candidates due to them not being able to afford to run in the first place. How we finance this and provide publicity needs to be overhauled to actually be able to have a democracy ruled by the people rather than a plutocracy ruled by the wealthy. Citizens United adds an additional flavor of Corporatism, but in the end it is still the 1% who control everything. Sadly though I do not see this changing anytime soon.

tstorm823:

generals3:

Didn't Trump win by riding an extremely blindly partisan base of support? See that's the problem with gerrymandering. It has allowed one party to stay in power by caring only about its partisan base and is forcing the other to betray its base to pander to "moderates" (and still risking to lose due to a lack of appeal towards the base).

No, he didn't. Donald Trump is a 20th century Democrat that won by pulling prior Obama voters to his base of support. You have to rewind a bit, because his tenure as president has been colored by Republicans patronizing him and getting his cooperation and Democrats antagonizing him and that makes it seem like he's a picture perfect Republican, but he definitely wasn't that during the election. He was strongly against illegal immigration, but was also against US military intervention. He was against regulation, but also promised that he wouldn't touch entitlements. He spoke highly of a Christian America and then also lifted high an LGBTQ pride flag. To borrow from Wikipedia: "Trump has proposed sizable income tax cuts and deregulation consistent with conservative (Republican Party) policies, along with significant infrastructure investment and protection for entitlements for the elderly, typically considered liberal (Democratic Party) policies. His anti-globalization policies of trade protectionism cross party lines.[3] Trump has said that he is totally flexible on very, very many issues.", his political positions have been described as "eclectic, improvisational and often contradictory." And in many ways, he's the moderate candidate people think can't win, it's just his rhetoric isn't moderate like his positions are.

And while he campaigned on these cross party issues, there was a huge swath of the conservative base trying to organize a "Never Trump" movement. Many of them were hypocrites who gave up after the primary, but there's a substantial list of prominent conservatives including a chunk of the House and Senate Republicans who vocally refused to vote for president in 2016. Donald Trump did not campaign on issues along party lines, he did not draw his base along party lines, and any suggestion that the election of Donald Trump was a partisan Republican effort is ignorant of that entire election.

You're confusing party lines and riding a partisan base. The establishment went against Donald Trump because he was considered a threat to the republican establishment. Not because he wasn't pandering to the partisan base.
His extreme anti obamacare and immigration stance are evidence of that. But not only that, him saying he would get cheaper healthcare is an issue among both democrats and poorer republicans. His anti globalization stance was also clearly an appeal towards the core republican base, perhaps not the 0.1% belonging to the corporate elite but the vast majority of republican voters, yes. They don't like immigration (=> globalism) nor the fact their jobs are shipped away (=>globalism). The left has always been more open to globalism, at least they tend to be open to immigration and integrating foreign cultures.
His infrastructure promises didn't go against the core bases desires either. Infrastructure projects create a lot of construction jobs, the jobs which poor (rural) republicans could aspire to. And both democrats and republicans use American roads, bridges, tunnels... That this issue also happens to appeal to democratic voters doesn't make it less appealing to the republican base.
And him waving an LGBT flag was just lip service. Even worse, it may be seen as conforting for anti LGBT republicans into the idea you can defend anti LGBT ideas while not being an actual bigot.

The only point that might suggest "bipartisan" appeal is his anti war stance. But even than, the debacle in Iraq and Libya has made war generally unpopular among both democrats and republicans (voters).

tstorm823:
He spoke highly of a Christian America and then also lifted high an LGBTQ pride flag.

Meaningless guff. In action, he has been intensely hostile towards the LGBT community, stripping away protections for Trans people, hiring extreme homophobic people into office (such as Pence, Graham, Sessions and Gorsuch). He has sanctioned discrimination on grounds of sexuality for federal contractors and private companies. He has banned transgender people from the military.

He has done fuck all in support, and this notion that he is in any way supportive is drivel. He is intensely hostile, and surrounded-- by his own design-- by even more virulently homophobic figures.

Silvanus:

tstorm823:
He spoke highly of a Christian America and then also lifted high an LGBTQ pride flag.

Meaningless guff. In action, he has been intensely hostile towards the LGBT community, stripping away protections for Trans people, hiring extreme homophobic people into office (such as Pence, Graham, Sessions and Gorsuch). He has sanctioned discrimination on grounds of sexuality for federal contractors and private companies. He has banned transgender people from the military.

He has done fuck all in support, and this notion that he is in any way supportive is drivel. He is intensely hostile, and surrounded-- by his own design-- by even more virulently homophobic figures.

Let's also not forget trying to prevent LGBTQ and Jewish families from adopting or becoming foster parents as well:

S.C. group can reject gays and Jews as foster parents, Trump admin says
The federal government will allow Miracle Hill and other federally funded foster agencies in the state to deny services to same-sex and non-Christian couples.

COLUMBIA, S.C. ? The federal government agreed Wednesday to allow federally funded foster care agencies in South Carolina to deny services to same-sex or non-Christian couples.

The waiver issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will allow Greenville?s Miracle Hill Ministries to continue as a state-supported foster care agency.

https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/s-c-group-can-reject-gays-jews-foster-parents-trump-n962306

Trump lauds religious adoption agencies for refusing service to same-sex couples
"We will always protect our country's long and proud tradition of faith-based adoption."

President Donald Trump openly endorsed discrimination by foster and adoption agencies, speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast Thursday morning.

After welcoming Chad and Melissa Buck, a couple from Michigan who he applauded for having adopted five children, he said, "Unfortunately, the Michigan adoption charity that brought the Buck family together is now defending itself in court for living by the values of its Catholic faith."

https://thinkprogress.org/trump-defends-adoption-agencies-anti-lgbtq-discrimination-national-prayer-breakfast-f6be114584e9/

Honestly, I have no idea how anyone in the LGBTQ community could possible support Trump, or Republicans for that matter.

Lil devils x:

Silvanus:

tstorm823:
He spoke highly of a Christian America and then also lifted high an LGBTQ pride flag.

Meaningless guff. In action, he has been intensely hostile towards the LGBT community, stripping away protections for Trans people, hiring extreme homophobic people into office (such as Pence, Graham, Sessions and Gorsuch). He has sanctioned discrimination on grounds of sexuality for federal contractors and private companies. He has banned transgender people from the military.

He has done fuck all in support, and this notion that he is in any way supportive is drivel. He is intensely hostile, and surrounded-- by his own design-- by even more virulently homophobic figures.

Let's also not forget trying to prevent LGBTQ and Jewish families from adopting or becoming foster parents as well:

S.C. group can reject gays and Jews as foster parents, Trump admin says
The federal government will allow Miracle Hill and other federally funded foster agencies in the state to deny services to same-sex and non-Christian couples.

COLUMBIA, S.C. ? The federal government agreed Wednesday to allow federally funded foster care agencies in South Carolina to deny services to same-sex or non-Christian couples.

The waiver issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will allow Greenville?s Miracle Hill Ministries to continue as a state-supported foster care agency.

https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/s-c-group-can-reject-gays-jews-foster-parents-trump-n962306

Trump lauds religious adoption agencies for refusing service to same-sex couples
"We will always protect our country's long and proud tradition of faith-based adoption."

President Donald Trump openly endorsed discrimination by foster and adoption agencies, speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast Thursday morning.

After welcoming Chad and Melissa Buck, a couple from Michigan who he applauded for having adopted five children, he said, "Unfortunately, the Michigan adoption charity that brought the Buck family together is now defending itself in court for living by the values of its Catholic faith."

https://thinkprogress.org/trump-defends-adoption-agencies-anti-lgbtq-discrimination-national-prayer-breakfast-f6be114584e9/

Honestly, I have no idea how anyone in the LGBTQ community could possible support Trump, or Republicans for that matter.

Its because conservatives are totally willing to just lie out their asses about things. The ends always justifies the means to them.

tstorm823:
It just seems to me senselessly reckless to try and plan winning districts by thin margins in a nation with 40% independents.

If you think Republicans have gerrymandered themselves into winning, run a candidate that picks up independents and sweep the whole state.

Being "independent" isn't the same as not voting for the same party in virtually every election. Your average US libertarian, for instance, may consider himself "independent", but in practice nearly always votes Republican (I think it's technically about 9:1). In many cases, voters are disappointed and even disgusted by aspects of their traditional party of support; although they will withhold their formal association, they carry on voting for it.

A better way to look at it is the margins of elections. There may be more underlying flux going on of voters shifting either way, but it gives a realistic measure of how good/bad it's likely to be assuming roughly equivalent candidate quality.

The biggest problem with your argument is simply that gerrymandering keeps working. It's simply not credible that parties are too stupid to tack to the centre for close seats. Not least because we already know they do: Republicans in traditionally Democrat seats and Democrats in traditionally Republican seats are significantly less loyal to party lines, because they have to be to keep their seats.

That's part of the talk of the 2016 election. Clinton largely ignored places without her base and was screwed. Some people are upset that swing states exist and have seemingly higher weight by being purple in nature, but the answer is to just win the close battles!

But this is difficult in a national election.

You don't just take the centre and win. Sounding more and more like your opponents loses the support and enthuasiasm of your base. You gain voters in one way, but lose them in another. Swing 2% of voters who might support the opposition with a moderate message, but disappoint 5% of the electorate who are your base so they don't vote... and you've got a net loss of support.

Furthermore, in a presidential race, you're having to assess this across an entire country, where every state may react differently. You might win Ohio with appealing to moderates, but end up losing Pennsylvania through disappointed base.

tstorm823:
You have to rewind a bit, because his tenure as president has been colored by Republicans patronizing him and getting his cooperation and Democrats antagonizing him and that makes it seem like he's a picture perfect Republican, but he definitely wasn't that during the election. He was strongly against illegal immigration, but was also against US military intervention. He was against regulation, but also promised that he wouldn't touch entitlements. He spoke highly of a Christian America and then also lifted high an LGBTQ pride flag. To borrow from Wikipedia: "Trump has proposed sizable income tax cuts and deregulation consistent with conservative (Republican Party) policies, along with significant infrastructure investment and protection for entitlements for the elderly, typically considered liberal (Democratic Party) policies. His anti-globalization policies of trade protectionism cross party lines.[3] Trump has said that he is totally flexible on very, very many issues.", his political positions have been described as "eclectic, improvisational and often contradictory." And in many ways, he's the moderate candidate people think can't win, it's just his rhetoric isn't moderate like his positions are.

You can't just cherry pick events and argue that a candidate presented a balanced platform. You can't say someone hoisted a LGBTQ flag once and that somehow equals umpteen key speeches praising family values and anti-abortion policies. Secondly, you also have to assess to what extent candidates stress certain policies over others, because it is the main stressed positions that dominate the headlines and thoughts of voters.

"Eclectic, improvisational and often contradictory" means he tried promising everything to everyone in an incoherent fashion. That's not the same as being "moderate". Vagueness, of course, has long been a tactic of many politicians - let voters write their own desires into nebulous statements.

Next, consider that a great deal of voters don't really notice policy much. In fact, we know perfectly well a huge proportion of voters have a very poor grasp of candidate policy. What they notice is a woman they think is an aloof, prissy feminazi, and a guy who spouts casual racism and talks about grabbing women's pussies in locker rooms, a bit like they and their mates do. And they think, "Hey, that guy sounds like someone I could share a beer with", and vote accordingly.

I agree gerrymandering is a bad thing, and those who have legalised it or attempt to redraw electoral boundaries for their advantage should be hung by piano wire from a nearby lamp post.

Abomination:
I agree gerrymandering is a bad thing, and those who have legalised it or attempt to redraw electoral boundaries for their advantage should be hung by piano wire from a nearby lamp post.

Would piano wire be able to hold up an entire body?

Hawki:

Abomination:
I agree gerrymandering is a bad thing, and those who have legalised it or attempt to redraw electoral boundaries for their advantage should be hung by piano wire from a nearby lamp post.

Would piano wire be able to hold up an entire body?

Probably. Piano wire has very good tensile strength. It can probably hold up a person so long as they keep still and don't cause any sudden shocks (on account of also being fairly brittle).

Hawki:

Abomination:
I agree gerrymandering is a bad thing, and those who have legalised it or attempt to redraw electoral boundaries for their advantage should be hung by piano wire from a nearby lamp post.

Would piano wire be able to hold up an entire body?

Thankfully a piano has many wires, they'll find the correct ratio eventually.

Lil devils x:
Do you live in a nation that uses a better system than this to prevent gerrymandering and how does it work?

Where I live whichever party gets x% of the votes nationwide gets x% of seats in parliament (as long as x>.67). If an individual lower on the list of a party gets 75% of the votes required for a seat (s)he gets one automatically as long as the party has seats to spare. This has downsides too, such as the high amount of party-discipline and difficulty with forming effective and popular coalitions but I massively prefer it to the district system. It avoids gerrymandering and counts nearly every vote instead of discounting 40% by default.

Pseudonym:

Lil devils x:
Do you live in a nation that uses a better system than this to prevent gerrymandering and how does it work?

Where I live whichever party gets x% of the votes nationwide gets x% of seats in parliament (as long as x>.67). If an individual lower on the list of a party gets 75% of the votes required for a seat (s)he gets one automatically as long as the party has seats to spare. This has downsides too, such as the high amount of party-discipline and difficulty with forming effective and popular coalitions but I massively prefer it to the district system. It avoids gerrymandering and counts nearly every vote instead of discounting 40% by default.

I would prefer that to what we have here for sure. Many people no longer even vote here because they know their vote doesn't count. Having a system where your vote actually does count makes all the difference in the world in terms of voter turnout.

Agema:

The biggest problem with your argument is simply that gerrymandering keeps working. It's simply not credible that parties are too stupid to tack to the centre for close seats. Not least because we already know they do: Republicans in traditionally Democrat seats and Democrats in traditionally Republican seats are significantly less loyal to party lines, because they have to be to keep their seats.

Let me speak anecdotally about everything you're saying. Here I sit in the heart of Pennsylvania, a state that just had the courts take the map away from the state legislature because of fear of partisan gerrymandering causing problems. I would be surprised if you hadn't heard something about the change in PA's map after the Democratic gains in the midterm, but it's my local news here.

And while the national headlines beforehand would tell you things like this, and after the election would tell you things like this, what they didn't mention was things like this. They national media loves the narrative of Republicans cheating their way in to power while the local public radio affiliate says "well, they did the math, and it turns out there's the exact same party split there would have been with the old districts." Turns out that Democrats faired better in Pennsylvania than in North Carolina because Democrats just actually did gained voters here.

So the question of "did the gerrymander work?" I can't say that it did anything. We swapped a map of districts that largely followed the highway corridors to a map with blockier districts, and the representation for the state is the same party split as it would have been.

But this is difficult in a national election.

You don't just take the centre and win. Sounding more and more like your opponents loses the support and enthuasiasm of your base. You gain voters in one way, but lose them in another. Swing 2% of voters who might support the opposition with a moderate message, but disappoint 5% of the electorate who are your base so they don't vote... and you've got a net loss of support.

Furthermore, in a presidential race, you're having to assess this across an entire country, where every state may react differently. You might win Ohio with appealing to moderates, but end up losing Pennsylvania through disappointed base.

Hey, that's me! I am Pennsylvania. Here's the thing: saying moderate things isn't the same as sounding more like your opponent. When both sides are focused on a polarizing topic, sure, you're trapped in a state where anything you say that's less like your own party is more like the other, but there are literally infinite topics you could campaign on that have no partisan binary, where either the parties agree or there's no real official stance to begin with. Some of the Democrats in my state are heading for a really bad 2020 here at this rate. They did well in 2018 because they acted like I would advise them to, and now they're not following through. The biggest campaign message being pushed in 2018 was "it doesn't matter if we like the president, we've got our job to do." And as it becomes abundantly clear that they're not capable of doing anything worthwhile in Congress (which may not be their fault), they're falling back into the blame Trump plan. You think you lose Pennsylvania by being too moderate and not exciting the base? Let me tell you, they'll lose Pennsylvania if they don't accomplish anything. There is nothing polarizing and partisan in this state about infrastructure spending, everyone here agrees the roads and bridges are terrible. Well that's on the same table as impeachment at the moment, and if we don't start hearing more about the former than the latter, we won't be reelecting people. This isn't California or New York where people ran their campaign on a platform of impeaching Trump, people actively sidestepped that here, and they best as hell keep it that way.

You can't just cherry pick events and argue that a candidate presented a balanced platform. You can't say someone hoisted a LGBTQ flag once and that somehow equals umpteen key speeches praising family values and anti-abortion policies. Secondly, you also have to assess to what extent candidates stress certain policies over others, because it is the main stressed positions that dominate the headlines and thoughts of voters.

"Eclectic, improvisational and often contradictory" means he tried promising everything to everyone in an incoherent fashion. That's not the same as being "moderate". Vagueness, of course, has long been a tactic of many politicians - let voters write their own desires into nebulous statements.

Next, consider that a great deal of voters don't really notice policy much. In fact, we know perfectly well a huge proportion of voters have a very poor grasp of candidate policy. What they notice is a woman they think is an aloof, prissy feminazi, and a guy who spouts casual racism and talks about grabbing women's pussies in locker rooms, a bit like they and their mates do. And they think, "Hey, that guy sounds like someone I could share a beer with", and vote accordingly.

I'm not so worried about whether Trump counts as moderate or not. What I'm saying is that Trump's base of support isn't "the Republican Party". It just isn't. The biggest Trump supporter I've ever met is the Democratic mayor of the town I used to live in. Personally, I'd say that makes perfect sense because Trump is a Democrat, but I'd settle for using that as an illustration that "Didn't Trump win by riding an extremely blindly partisan base of support?" is a nonsense question. No. The answer to that question is absolutely not. Donald Trump did not win election because of blind party loyalty. That is not at all what happened no matter how you look at it.

tstorm823:
Personally, I'd say that makes perfect sense because Trump is a Democrat,

Trump is not a Democrat in any definition of the term.
You don't get to use the "I know a Democrat who supported Trump!" as justification for labeling Trump a Democrat, because that mayor is obviously not a Democrat if they support Trump, you had a DINO.

but I'd settle for using that as an illustration that "Didn't Trump win by riding an extremely blindly partisan base of support?" is a nonsense question. No. The answer to that question is absolutely not. Donald Trump did not win election because of blind party loyalty. That is not at all what happened no matter how you look at it.

Except he: Ran on the Republican party ticket
Said largely the same things Republicans have been saying for the past decade - only louder and in front of cameras
His base consists of - and has always consisted of - Republicans and self-proclaimed "centrists" who somehow always end up voting Republican
He ran on the Republican party ticket
Did not once run under any policy proposal that could be considered progressive or even left of center

Dr. Thrax:

Trump is not a Democrat in any definition of the term.
You don't get to use the "I know a Democrat who supported Trump!" as justification for labeling Trump a Democrat, because that mayor is obviously not a Democrat if they support Trump, you had a DINO.

I disagree. I don't meant to say Trump is a Democrat just because I know 1 Democrat that supports him. I say that because for the duration of George W Bush's presidency, he literally was registered as a Democrat. I say that because he himself has said he often identifies more with Democrats. I say that because even though you think he's saying things "Republicans have been saying for the past decade", it's at least as true to say he's saying things Democrats had said for the last century. The only thing holding the Democratic Party back from sliding back into that comfort zone is the fear of associating with Donald Trump after characterizing him as Hitler. Donald Trump is closer to the broad trends of the Democratic Party historically than currently Democrats are, and I highly suspect the party will return swiftly to those broad trends whenever they happen to regain the presidency.

Did not once run under any policy proposal that could be considered progressive or even left of center

There is no way I can answer this line without six pages of arguing about how wrong your idea of "progressive" is. Building the wall is an inherently progressive policy suggestion.

tstorm823:

Dr. Thrax:

Trump is not a Democrat in any definition of the term.
You don't get to use the "I know a Democrat who supported Trump!" as justification for labeling Trump a Democrat, because that mayor is obviously not a Democrat if they support Trump, you had a DINO.

I disagree. I don't meant to say Trump is a Democrat just because I know 1 Democrat that supports him. I say that because for the duration of George W Bush's presidency, he literally was registered as a Democrat. I say that because he himself has said he often identifies more with Democrats. I say that because even though you think he's saying things "Republicans have been saying for the past decade", it's at least as true to say he's saying things Democrats had said for the last century. The only thing holding the Democratic Party back from sliding back into that comfort zone is the fear of associating with Donald Trump after characterizing him as Hitler. Donald Trump is closer to the broad trends of the Democratic Party historically than currently Democrats are, and I highly suspect the party will return swiftly to those broad trends whenever they happen to regain the presidency.

Did not once run under any policy proposal that could be considered progressive or even left of center

There is no way I can answer this line without six pages of arguing about how wrong your idea of "progressive" is. Building the wall is an inherently progressive policy suggestion.

This is either a stupidly bold attempt at gaslighting, or you're suffering from severe gaslighting yourself. Either way, I pity you.

Avnger:

This is either a stupidly bold attempt at gaslighting, or you're suffering from severe gaslighting yourself. Either way, I pity you.

Which of the controversial but entirely accurate things I said are you referring to?

Sonmi:
Time and time again, it's been proven that Democrats perform better when dropping the whole bi-partisan tepid right-wing BS, energizing your base is a far better strategy than trying to appeal to the other side's base. Republicans get this, the day the Dems start doing the same is the day they'll able to flip the map. Just look at all of the polls about the hypothetical Sanders v Trump 2016 scenario if you want any evidence of that.

True, but the majority aren't in either side's base, which was his point. You want to energize your base, but you also need to be able to sell to the folks who don't have a strong party attachment, because there are a lot of them and they are *much* easier to sway than the other sides base.

My state was a fairly "safe" blue state until 2000, and was majority registered Democrat until 2014. Turns out a lot of that had to do with the unions and Dems being pro-worker, but unions will turn on you when you start threatening the industry they represent.

Also, the polls about Clinton v Trump 2016 were predicting a Clinton win. So I'll take hypothetical Sanders v Trump polls with a grain of salt.

Of course, what really needs said here is the importance of state legislature elections this time around, because whoever controls state legislatures will control the next redistricting. Which determines who the next round of gerrymandering will benefit.

Agema:

You don't just take the centre and win. Sounding more and more like your opponents loses the support and enthuasiasm of your base. You gain voters in one way, but lose them in another. Swing 2% of voters who might support the opposition with a moderate message, but disappoint 5% of the electorate who are your base so they don't vote... and you've got a net loss of support.

Which would make sense if we operated off of national popular vote, but we don't. It would take something pretty damn extreme for California to go Republican, for example. So the goal is to appeal to the swing states while not losing the ones typically on your side with the thinnest margins.

Abomination:
I agree gerrymandering is a bad thing, and those who have legalised it or attempt to redraw electoral boundaries for their advantage should be hung by piano wire from a nearby lamp post.

So, everyone involved in every redistricting? Because this is very much an "everyone does it, one side is just more effective at it" situation. District lines are more or less always drawn to benefit those currently in office specifically, and their party more generally.

Schadrach:
So, everyone involved in every redistricting? Because this is very much an "everyone does it, one side is just more effective at it" situation. District lines are more or less always drawn to benefit those currently in office specifically, and their party more generally.

Yes. Everyone "who have legalised it or attempt to redraw electoral boundaries for their advantage". Just because the other party has done it doesn't mean that it excuses what would be a crime in any other civilised society.

tstorm823:

Avnger:

This is either a stupidly bold attempt at gaslighting, or you're suffering from severe gaslighting yourself. Either way, I pity you.

Which of the controversial but entirely accurate things I said are you referring to?

You do realize you're not the first person to try and gaslight someone right? Like we all understand how this game works.

One takes a small group of "technically true" facts to make a false argument while purposely ignoring the broader context and set of facts regarding a topic. Then they move the goal posts every time they're challenged and act indignantly affronted if someone dares to call them out despite never coming near attempting to engage in an honest conversation themselves.

You're transparent...

Avnger:

You do realize you're not the first person to try and gaslight someone right? Like we all understand how this game works.

One takes a small group of "technically true" facts to make a false argument while purposely ignoring the broader context and set of facts regarding a topic. Then they move the goal posts every time they're challenged and act indignantly affronted if someone dares to call them out despite never coming near attempting to engage in an honest conversation themselves.

You're transparent...

a) That's not what gaslighting is. Gaslighting is deliberately trying to make people question their own sanity. When I say Donald Trump is a Democrat, I imagine you're more likely to question my sanity than your own.

b) How can I even move the goalposts if you're not telling me what you're arguing with? Talk to me, it will be fun, I promise.

tstorm823:

Avnger:

You do realize you're not the first person to try and gaslight someone right? Like we all understand how this game works.

One takes a small group of "technically true" facts to make a false argument while purposely ignoring the broader context and set of facts regarding a topic. Then they move the goal posts every time they're challenged and act indignantly affronted if someone dares to call them out despite never coming near attempting to engage in an honest conversation themselves.

You're transparent...

a) That's not what gaslighting is. Gaslighting is deliberately trying to make people question their own sanity. When I say Donald Trump is a Democrat, I imagine you're more likely to question my sanity than your own.

b) How can I even move the goalposts if you're not telling me what you're arguing with? Talk to me, it will be fun, I promise.

To put this to bed, Donald Trump WAS a Democrat in name only.

Everything about the guy, and how he conducted himself, is far more Republican than Democrat.

Just like how calling someone a Nazi doesn't make them a Nazi, Trump being a registered Democrat doesn't make him a Democrat.

Abomination:

To put this to bed, Donald Trump WAS a Democrat in name only.

Everything about the guy, and how he conducted himself, is far more Republican than Democrat.

Just like how calling someone a Nazi doesn't make them a Nazi, Trump being a registered Democrat doesn't make him a Democrat.

As a matter of policy, a lot of my claim that Trump's a democrat rests on him being a 20th century democrat. And ideologically, Democratic and Republican policy in the 20th century was largely similar, both parties were conservative and progressive and liberalism cried forgotten in the corner.

But as a matter of personal conduct, that's exactly where I'd call him a Democrat. Imagine a politician being creepy with women, it's a Democrat. Imagine a politician drumming up support through populism, it's a Democrat. Imagine a politician running their campaign through vicious personal attacks. It's a Democrat (and don't point at Obama and birthers because that was literally Trump, the Democrat). I've said it before and I'll say it again, 2016 was the most vicious election in living memory because it had two Democrats in it.

Like, my brother is a Democrat, and he likes Mayor Pete Buttigieg. He likes him because "he's a Democrat that talks like Republicans, he says progressive things without the yelling and insults." As a matter of personal conduct, Republicans are the party of soft-spoken civility. You may think that's just a front for bigotry, but you can't deny the stereotypical Republican politician does not behave like Donald Trump.

tstorm823:

Abomination:

To put this to bed, Donald Trump WAS a Democrat in name only.

Everything about the guy, and how he conducted himself, is far more Republican than Democrat.

Just like how calling someone a Nazi doesn't make them a Nazi, Trump being a registered Democrat doesn't make him a Democrat.

As a matter of policy, a lot of my claim that Trump's a democrat rests on him being a 20th century democrat. And ideologically, Democratic and Republican policy in the 20th century was largely similar, both parties were conservative and progressive and liberalism cried forgotten in the corner.

But as a matter of personal conduct, that's exactly where I'd call him a Democrat. Imagine a politician being creepy with women, it's a Democrat. Imagine a politician drumming up support through populism, it's a Democrat. Imagine a politician running their campaign through vicious personal attacks. It's a Democrat (and don't point at Obama and birthers because that was literally Trump, the Democrat). I've said it before and I'll say it again, 2016 was the most vicious election in living memory because it had two Democrats in it.

Like, my brother is a Democrat, and he likes Mayor Pete Buttigieg. He likes him because "he's a Democrat that talks like Republicans, he says progressive things without the yelling and insults." As a matter of personal conduct, Republicans are the party of soft-spoken civility. You may think that's just a front for bigotry, but you can't deny the stereotypical Republican politician does not behave like Donald Trump.

You and I clearly have different recollections of either Bush. Maybe this quite statesmen could be applied to Seniour but I personally wouldn't. Remember when Reagan sent people in the Traffic Controller Union to jail? Very statesmanlike. Remember when Bush Jnr maybe up shit for the War on Terror and everyone was saying, 'you're just making this stuff up. Stop lying.' Very Statemanlike. Also, how many times did one of those three go on about some new war they created, like the War on Drugs or Terror. Talking about going to War clearly is so Statemanlike.

I generally think of statesmen as trying to bring America etc together. With Bush Jnr and Reagan, they were pitting one side of America against the other. On many issues.

But then, I think Reagan, along with FDR, as the two times the US was closest to becoming a Fascist state (Trump possibly being a third, but I'd wait til his term ends.) He grew the economy through force and pretended it was trickle down economics

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