P.T. Barnum's Kind Of Taxpayer
It's easy to fathom why a great many people can't seem to bring themselves to care about redistricting. After all, it boils down to drawing maps, which seems dweebish. And it's always been seen as insider politics in its purest form, which most people hate with a passion.
But it's much harder to figure why so few taxpayers are steamed about how their money is being used for dweebish insider politics.
The redistricting process starts with politicians voting to help themselves to as much taxpayer money as they want to pay expensive private lawyers to assist them with their map drawing. This time around, the party in power wrote themselves a blank check while denying the other side any public funds for their own lawyers. So far, about $350,000 of the taxpayers' money has been spent and the meter is still running.
Taxpayers aren't allowed to see the work being done at their expense. The redistricting plans are kept secret until they are ready to be passed by the Legislature. When finally the plans are made public, it becomes apparent why they are kept secret for so long. The new district lines benefit the politicians, not the public.
All of us taxpayers end up paying to have the power of our votes diminished. We all pay to make incumbent office holders more secure. We all pay to make the party in power more likely to stay in power. We all pay and what we get for our money is less responsive representation in the state Legislature and in Congress. We also pay for more partisan division and political polarization because our money is used to draw lines creating as many strongly Republican and overwhelmingly Democratic districts as possible. Politicians hate being in 50-50 districts. So they make us pay to enhance their job security.
And very few of us squawk about it.
Wow. Just wow.