As a rule, I think the practice of gerrymandering is unequivocally incompatible with the principles of fair representation. It’s quite clear, in American politics, that the drawing of the district lines is done primarily for political reasons, and for the benefit, not of the people, but of the politicians. This holds true for whichever party happens to be in power when it happens. (Realistically, once the practice begins and the instigators get away with it, everyone else would be a fool not to use it themselves as an established tool of political power. Thanks, Elbridge!)

Accepting the reality that gerrymandering is a tool for professional con men to gain political power, however, it actually does make a certain amount of twisted sense in a “multicultural” environment such as the USA. Now, by “multicultural” I do not mean the mythical salad-bowl community where members of various cultures are distributed evenly throughout like a good multi-spice rub. People don’t act that way. They self-segregate, to varying degrees, and some of them do so quite openly and deliberately. Therefore, it’s not unusual or unreasonable that an up-and-coming politician who is a Somali refugee would work to gerrymander a district to cover his  ethnic community, and then leverage that into a nice cushy political job for himself. That’s politics as usual. However, I have a quibble with Vox’s assessment that “Americans did not defend their liberty and now they are getting the non-American government they deserve.” There are probably not very many Americans, in the cultural sense, in that district. What appears to have happened is that the Somalis have elected a Somali representative, using the superficially American system of government, since they happen to live here.

In which case, that particular geographical location might technically be “American soil” but is not “American” in any meaningful sense of the word, just as there are immigrant enclaves in many European nations – France comes to mind – where the host country’s laws are essentially dead letter and the communities do as they please according to the rules of their originating national culture.

In a government system set up so that groups of similar people will be represented by one man, the emergence of voting districts as tribal territories is inevitable once “multiculturalism” and excessive immigration fractures the cohesiveness of the population and they begin seriously segregating themselves.

And, well, I’m pretty sure most of the putatively “American,” home-grown representatives from white-as-milk places like the Northeast have just as much respect for the principles of American governance as any unassimilated immigrant from anywhere – that is to say, none at all. Their culture is simply slightly less divergent than one from the other side of the world, that’s all.


About pancakeloach :)
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