Disrupting Democracy


You have to grudgingly admire the black-hat political hackers who have pwned the American electoral system. First, entrench a two-party dichotomy; second, gerrymander districts into tortuous shapes; third, cultivate an electorate so polarized that no matter how much voters dislike their incumbent, they hate the alternative worse; fourth, profit! It’s elegant, horrifying brilliance.

The whole point of democracy is to make it easy to throw bad governments out. (Putting good governments in would be a nice bonus, but tends to be a crap shoot.) I think it’s safe to say that American democracy has gotten stunningly bad at that. On Tuesday, despite an appalling 14% approval rating, across 435 Congressional districts, only twelve saw incumbents lose. Twelve. Because “gerrymandering to protect incumbents has left only about 50 of 435 House seats in play in any election.”

(To those of you in the rest of the world; I…

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