Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Some people determined to move us all backward; it's the only way they gain

We used to regard certain individuals in our society as being worth only three-fifths of a person. We used to think it natural that certain-gendered people didn’t have full citizenship – including the right to register to cast ballots in elections.

But we have moved forward in ways meant to include as many people as possible in our society. Which is a concept that offends some ideologically-minded people who want everybody who isn’t exactly like them to be excluded.

Will the high court take us back in time?
NOW THEY’RE TURNING to the Supreme Court of the United States, which this week said it would hear a case later this year that seeks to alter the way that determines the number of people included in political districts.

Currently, we undergo the redistricting process every decade, when local government officials take into consideration changes in population – then redraw political boundaries to try to make districts as equal in population as is possible.

Of course, the fact that political people are involved means a sense of self-interest gets worked into the process. Illinois has Democratic Party-leaning government because da Dems ruled in 2011 – and still have huge influence now, as Gov. Bruce Rauner is learning first-hand.

Just as a place like Texas had its boundaries drawn to maintain as much political influence as possible in the old white establishment of the state because Republicans dominate the state.

THERE PROBABLY IS no perfect way to draw boundaries – not even for those people who have fantasies about computers drawing arbitrary and neutral boundaries that ignore partisan political considerations. I’d wonder about the political leanings of the people programming the computers.

The nation’s high court is going to be asked to consider another means – the Austin, Texas-based Project on Fair Representation (which is most certainly unfair) wants only people registered to vote to be counted.

Which in a nation whose population is growing due to immigration means many people with a fully-legitimate reason to be here means there would be significant numbers of people who wouldn’t be counted.

That would wind up altering the composition of our government officials, reducing the numbers of non-Anglo officials in places like Texas and California – which is the very point that these people are pushing for, and which they’re hoping the Supreme Court will uphold sometime early next year.

I’LL BE HONEST – I could almost understand giving non-registered (to vote) people less say, but only if it were those native-born people who voluntarily choose not to cast votes. Except those aren’t the people being targeted by such an initiative!

Besides, the fact is that all people living here are covered by this nation’s laws. We’re all expected to follow them. We can’t be exempted from them by the fact that we don’t bother to vote, or that we’re not yet a U.S. citizen.

Nor should we be.

Which means we all ought to have some sense that our views are being represented in this government. Unless we really are determined to head backwards to the days when women couldn’t vote. Or when those of African origins were considered less than a full human being for census purposes.

NOBODY WOULD SERIOUSLY try to undo those changes in our society. At least not so bluntly. Although I wonder how much of an impact this particular measure would have on such people.

Also, I can’t help but think that this measure would merely slow down political progress. Because many of those non-citizen residents will eventually become U.S. citizens and take part in the electoral process – unless the ideologues plan to follow this up with measures restricting voting only to those who will cast ballots for their preferred candidates!

I believe that we as a society are better off taking measures that try to include more individuals. This particular measure is one headed in the absolute wrong direction – and one that the Supreme Court ought to reject out-of-hand.

But the court didn’t do that. They decided to hear the case, some time during the autumn months. Which means there’s always the chance that the ideologues of our high court will manage to get a majority ruling in their favor.


No comments: