Now that Brett Kavanaugh has been given a lifetime seat on the Supreme Court, I want to address the route of the problem destroying America. The route of the problem isn’t political polarization (as many say). The route of the problem is the failing of our system of government. The reality is that an ever-shrinking minority has an ever-increasing control over our politics. While Republicans claim Democrats wat mob rule, the truth is that America is being run by a distinct minority that regularly enacts laws disfavored by a majority of the American people.
Let’s illustrate this with some stark examples:
- George W. Bush “won” in 2000 even though he lost the popular vote.
- Donald Trump “won” in 2016 even though he lost the popular vote by roughly three million votes.
- Four of the five conservative justices on the Supreme Court were appointed by presidents who lost the popular vote.
- In Wyoming, there is roughly 1 senator for every 350 thousand people. In California, there is one senator for roughly every 20 million people.
- In 2016, North Carolina Republicans got 53 percent of the vote in House elections statewide. But they won 10 of the 13 seats.
- In 2016, Michigan voters cast almost an equal number of votes for Democrats and Republicans. Yet, none of Michigan’s Congressional elections was decided by less than 10 points and the Republicans “won” 64 percent of the seats.
In Alabama’s special election, Doug Jones beat Roy Moore by 1.5 percent statewide. Yet, Jones lost to Morre in six of Alabama’s seven Congressional districts.
The above facts are so because of the Electoral College and partisan gerrymandering. The Electoral College (created in part to protect slave states) ignores the popular vote in presidential elections in favor of giving each state the number of votes it gets in Congress. Gerrymandering is the process where electoral districts are created by politicians to give their party an electoral advantage. As the large states get larger, these problems will become more pronounced, because there is a limit to the size of Congress and each state is guaranteed representation. This means that while the small states will always have a minimum of three representatives between the House and Senate, the large states will not gain more representation.
When the Supreme Court votes to take away a woman’s right to choose, remove health care from people with preexisting conditions, and almost always sides with business against the people–the justices doing so will have largely been appointed by presidents who actually lost the vote of the American public. Two of these justices will have been confirmed by a majority of senators who represent a minority of the population.
Republicans are accusing Democrats of favoring mob rule. The reality is much worse. The reality is that a minority is overriding the will of the majority.
America’s political system is failing.