Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Political parties should not be deified

As we survive the thirteenth day of the Trump realm, I have to comment on something that bothers me. That something is currently known by the moniker "party loyalty". (Even some of those who voiced opposition to Trump are voting in favor of his antics simply because it is a "Republican" thing to do.

What bothers me is that far too many senators and congressmen give the impression that they see the country of the United States only as a necessary evil, required as an arena for what they really value, their political party. Currently it is Republicans who display it most, but Democrats have had their times as well. It has been covered in the media for ages.

The mere fact that politicians' initial response to a legislative proposal is to love it or hate depending upon which party it came from or who is backing it. Mitch McConnell even verbalized his goal of making President Obama a "one term president", basically vowing to block anything he proposes. Ain't that a good ol' boy way of showing your love for your country?

Our politicians will not change their ways unless forced to.  Perhaps we, the people, might make that happen by making a conscious effort to identify and vote out every congressman or politician who does not cross party lines at least once this session and speak out in national media in favor of at least one bill proposed by the other party. It is a small step, but that is how every journey starts.

Another small step would be the minimizing of the effect of congressional gerrymandering. A small step would be a requirement that all congressional districts be convex in shape.

Convexity is very simple. A district would be convex if, for any pair of points in the district, all points on the line between them are also in that district. Exclusion would be made only when the line connecting two points in a district passed through a neighboring state. An example of what would not be allowed is shown here. The red segment starts and ends withing a New York congressional district, but passes through another district. That would be a no-no. (Unless the other district was in a different state.)

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