If you live in a “swing state” like North Carolina or Texas, or have more than a passing interest in democracy, you are probably aware of how severely Republicans have gerrymandered state and federal electoral districts. Rather than voters being able to pick our representatives, they have drawn lines to pick the voters they want, and packed the rest of us into as few districts as possible. It’s been remarkably effective and has led to passing legislation like HB2 with total impunity since the GOP leaders know their majority can’t be threatened with the current districts, even though our state actually has way more registered Democrats than Republicans.
Don’t believe it? I just looked up the latest stats from the state board of elections, and as of 7/29/17 we had 39% Democrats, 30% Republicans, 30% unaffiliated, and less than 1% Libertarian. (Unaffiliated has been growing rapidly, for good reason. Don’t make the mistake of assuming these are centrist voters.) Meanwhile our NC senate is 68% Republican and our house representatives are 62% Republican.
You might also know that The Supreme Court found that NC’s districts are racially gerrymandered and told the state legislature to redraw them and hold a special election ASAP. I was skeptical that Republicans wouldn’t just redraw them in a way that ensured their majorities but didn’t follow racial lines as closely. But in fact, they haven’t even done that. They have been filing appeals and dragging their feet, as explained in the timeline in this very helpful article by NC Policy Watch, “Republicans silent in wake of court order to draw new maps in one month”.
So the NC house and senate redistricting committees are now taking comments online, and they are meeting tomorrow so it’s a great time to let them know that you value representative democracy.
Continue reading "Speak up now to restore democracy in North Carolina"
I keep coming back to the feeling of being Cassandra – cursed to know the future and never be believed. Of course she went insane. I am trying not to follow that path by doing what I can: take care of my physical and mental health, take care of my child, teach him about the real world but also help him grow up to be a happy, healthy, and responsible person, stock up on emergency supplies, and build solidarity with friends and family that we are going to need when The Crisis hits.
No matter what, we are living in some of the ugliest times of this nation and it’s almost certain to get much much worse before it gets better. I implore anyone who cares to take care of yourselves, but don’t turn away from the difficulty and suffering. Stay connected to each other, don’t allow authoritarians to isolate us at home, at work, in our community, or in politics. We need each other more than ever.
Continue reading "It’s time for SOLIDARITY, not SURPRISE"
I see a lot of people celebrating already because they think impeachment is imminent. It’s really not. More importantly, I don’t want people to think impeachment would (will?) save us. It’s a continuation of people who keep thinking this can’t happen here or that somehow the Democrats or courts are going to stop it. They’re …
Continue reading "Don’t count on impeachment"
“The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with …
Continue reading "How Republicans have criminalized political opponents for decades"
They have tried criminalizing dissent in several other states, and now this “economic terrorism” bill filed today in North Carolina shows once again that Republicans value money and power more than civil rights, the Constitution, or democracy itself.
Continue reading "Republicans hate democracy, part eleventy million and one"
“Last night, US president Donald Trump gave what was, by the eroded current standards of American political discourse, a very good speech. It was a very good speech full of very big lies and very cruel policies disguised as empathy.”
Continue reading "Don’t Get Played"
Friends, please don’t make the mistake of thinking that Trump’s seemingly random and ill-informed actions are not part of President Bannon’s strategy. They’ll bleed the public of money, culture, education, health, and community. They’ll sow chaos and violence. And they’ll beef up institutions that can enforce their coup: police & military. This is truly disturbing to …
Continue reading "No more innocent liberal surprise."
“The real problem is that rural Americans don’t understand the causes of their own situations and fears and they have shown no interest in finding out. They don’t want to know why they feel the way they do or why they are struggling because they don’t want to admit it is in large part because of the choices they’ve made and the horrible things they’ve allowed themselves to believe.”
Continue reading "On the willful ignorance of religious right voters"
What is up with these Democrats playing kickball at a gun fight? They are negotiating with themselves. Republicans are not playing, they’re burning our government down as fast as possible. They’re not compromising, not looking for common ground, not thinking about how they’d want the system to work if they were not in power. (This …
Continue reading "Don’t negotiate with terrorists"