The majority doesn’t rule on guns

The US is now a non-majoritarian democracy, that is, it vastly over-represents rural areas and small states, leaving city dwellers with limited influence over issues such as gun control. Large majorities want universal background checks, a ban on assault-style weapons and measures to prevent the mentally-ill and those on no-fly lists from buying guns. Ponder these points:

– In 1960 63% of Americans lived in metro areas; by 2010 84% did. It has been calculated that by 2040 70% of Americans will live in only 15 states, and be represented by only 30 of the 100 senators. And you call this a democracy? (please stop calling it that!)

– Add to this disturbing statistic the gerrymandering, which gave Republicans 16 seats they wouldn’t have won in the last election had gerrymandering not been rife.

– The voter-suppression efforts (rules about what documents you need to vote etc) and the disenfranchisement of former felons have skew election results, particularly in the South.

– and the above doesn’t even begin to take into account the anti-democratic waves of big money that buy Representatives and Senators. You thus have a system that is totally broken, in which one party pants like a load of puppies in appreciation of the super-rich, and ignores everyone else, unless they are fundamentalist christians. Russian interference in elections is just a blip on the screen, just another set of disagreeable and divisive voices among the home-grown variety.

The system is illegitimate, but where are the patriots with the integrity to reform it?
(statistics from an article in Washington Post by E.J.Dionne, Norman J. Ornstein and Thomas E Mann, October 4th 2017)

  • Owen Bell

    I totally agree. I think the Senate is totally antiquated and corrupt, and am open to the idea of abolishing it entirely. Developed nations like New Zealand, Sweden and Israel get on just fine with one chamber. As for the House and state legislatures, their seats should be drawn by an independent non-partisan commission to avoid gerrymandering. I also think all states should be forced to be like Maine and Nebraska in abandoning the winner-takes-all system of allocating electoral college votes.