Demise of the GOP

Look quick! In an instant, the Republican party will be completely irrelevant. Does this have to be? Maybe not, but it almost certainly will be. Why? Rules. Rules for representation. Rules and numbers. If Republicans do not change, then the rules for making voting districts will bring about change.

While 31% of the voters in Massachusetts are Republican, under the current rules there is no way to carve out a congressional district that would allow a Republican to be elected. You may think that is OK as you bow to the holy principle of one man one vote; after all, only 31% are Republican. That is how our democracy rolls, right?

Well no, it is not. Therein lies the end of the Republican party.

Many might argue this demise is well deserved. The recent gerrymandering by Republican legislators is atrocious. Wisconsin, North Carolina, Texas, Utah: a few of the many states where districts have been packed and cracked. When you look carefully, scientifically, the evidence is overwhelming how deliberately crafted some districts are. Randomly change the boundaries of these suspicious districts a tad, while remaining true to the rules set forth in the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and 1982, as well as the rules for creating districts; and election results change from the advantage to the disadvantage of Republican candidates.

Once Republican gerrymandering vanishes, the rules for district creation will result in Democratic victories. The rules have many conditions to them. Importantly, the 1982 law replaces intent to discriminate with positive evidence through election results of no discrimination as the basis for deciding questions of racial skullduggery. This translates into the creation of districts that ensure that the will of minorities can be expressed greater than or equal to their proportion in the general population as measured in the US Census. All, even sleepy, casual observers, know that currently there is a super strong correlation between the expression of minority will and the voting for Democrats. Race trumps partisan in the calculus of the good districts. By this I mean that if race were an unknown, then districts that are now seen as good might no longer be seen that way because they would be easily seen as having a partisan bias; the very violation the Republicans are facing.

In the past, the creation of the minority-majority districts resulted in the bleaching of some surrounding districts. Republicans did well in these districts. Especially when there were helpful legislatures optimizing partisan results with creative boundaries.

It should be clear why immigration is such an important issue for the Democrats. The shrill chant of white racism together with an established orthodoxy of Democratic protection creates very loyal supporters. The Voting Rights Acts ensure that these subgroups will have representation in proportion to their numbers in the larger population. Numbers. Some groups are guaranteed representation due to grievous past – and present- civil rights violations and other groups have no standing for this proportional power.

Pay attention now because THE BIG CHANGE is about to occur. New districts will be redrawn after the 2020 census. This time there is both a body of mathematical knowledge and a phalanx of experts who will create minority-majority districts without causing a partisan gain in other districts. Get it?

Does this mean that there is nothing the Republicans can do to forestall their political demise? Maybe. The only way to have the districts not lopsidedly Democrat is to have minority Republican support.

How can that be done? After all, the media continues to repeat the stories of white guilt and white privilege and white racism along with the narrative of the Democratic party’s unique ability to remedy minority discrimination and advance minority interests. Can minorities’ energy be unleashed to the point they see their interests coinciding with the Republican party? Maybe, but it will take time. If you want a capitalist democracy, then now is the time to begin creating Republicans.

Stop being penny wise and pound foolish. Express Republican core beliefs by showing evident concern for monitory deaths as well as white deaths. Express support for minorities with concrete actions.

Here are some possible things that might increase Republican mindshare.

1. Loudly make amends for the loans that were denied African Americans after WW II; the loans that spurred the suburbs for white citizens but harmed African American families. Now as those loans are changed into inherited wealth, give new subsidized loans and grants to accelerate the growth of minority middle class families. Turn the movement to stop gentrification on its head by supporting and spurring minority gentrification.
o Use minority labor to make these improvements. Embed job training into the process of improvements. Using only citizens dramatizes the effects of cheap undocumented laborers.
2. Support and celebrate programs that increase minority presence in the police and police presence in minority neighborhoods. There was an opioid crisis in urban centers long before there was a national crisis.
o Advocate forceful national and international intervention in the heroin supply chain.
3. Support nutrition and health programs for infants, young adults, and families. Make these programs work for the community.
4. Run minority candidates and SUPPORT these candidates in elections with money and VOTES.
o The rules speak about the expression of minority will. Embrace minority well-being and their achieving the same goals you have and you might get a share of their will.

I realize these few simple suggestions run counter to the beliefs many might have. You can have purity, but I would prefer a capitalist democracy. A new generation of vibrant creative dynamic citizens arising from minority neighborhoods is needed if we are not to descend into racial silos forever. If your vision is a color-blind capitalist country, then you MUST help everyone, especially minorities, claim a share in that vision. Plant the stakes of family, job, health, and education deep into our cultural soil and tether our capitalist democracy to them to keep our freedoms from blowing away.

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Update from Nate Cohn article on new PA map

"The map comes close to maximizing the number of Democratic opportunities while complying with the court’s order to minimize county, municipality or precinct splits except to make sure each district has about the same number of people. Perhaps the only plausible way to substantially improve Democratic chances from here would be to split the city of Pittsburgh, an unlikely choice given the requirement to avoid unnecessarily splitting municipalities."
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