Blogcast w/Chris Graham: Bill of goods

americaThe seeds of our destruction were planted at the founding. Hard reality check, that one.

The Senate is undemocratic, for starters. Two seats per state, regardless of size. Gives small states, more rural states, states more likely to be conservative in outlook, weighted representation.

The House has become undemocratic. Democratic candidates routinely get more votes than Republicans on the aggregate, but because Republicans have been able to gain control of state legislatures, where the district lines are drawn, they’ve been able to shove Democratic voters into fewer districts, diluting their voting strength.

The Electoral College, well, we all know the deal there. Hillary Clinton received 2.9 million more votes than Donald Trump, who was nonetheless elected president because, see above. We apportion votes based on the states.

What does this have to do with the founding, you’re asking. To scrap the awful confederation-style government that sprang out of the revolution, there needed to be a series of painful compromises.

The bicameral legislature, with that aristocratic Senate. A House seated based on population, but, oh, snap, the South threatened to pull out if its slaves weren’t somehow counted as residents for the purposes of the apportionment.

That travesty was compounded when we came up with the Electoral College, which based a states electoral votes on its number of representatives in the House and the Senate.

This is why Virginia had so many presidents early on. Not because Virginia was great in any way. Because Virginia was the biggest slave state.

The country, today, is left of center demographically. We all know that. But our House is Republican because of gerrymandering, the Senate is Republican basically by design, the president is Republican not as a bug, but a feature, of a system designed to tilt things to the right, and the Supreme Court will be conspiracy-theory conservative for a generation.

Not because the American system is the best on earth. It ain’t even close.

Ours is a system that preserved human slavery for 80 years, then Jim Crow for another hundred after that, and now props up serial sexual abusers, misogynists and flag-waving nativists who pledge allegiance to a flag but are laser-focused on plunder.

The way it’s been for 231 years.

That’s a bill of goods you’ve been sold there, folks.

Column by Chris Graham

 


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