Beware the creeping coup!

It is now clear that Dr, Thomas Hofeller—who has been called “the Michelangelo of gerrymandering”— was the author of the idea of adding the citizenship question to the 2020 US census in order to create redistricting rules that would be “advantageous to Republicans and Non-Hispanic Whites.”?  He conducted research showing  that the citizenship question would significantly harm the political power of Latino communities. This is part of an explicit strategy to exclude millions of Americans from consideration in redistricting, overturning centuries of precedent. 

The revelations emerged from files provided to Common Cause by Hofeller’s daughter, who chose to entrust Common Cause with his papers. They provide a detailed view into Hofeller’s behind-the-scenes work to craft district maps for partisan advantage. (Common Cause).

Epicurus, who, unlike most ancient Greeks of his time, welcomed both women and slaves into his garden, discussing, debating, asking their opinions. Today , we have in progress what amounts to a creeping political coup that seeks to solidify the power of a single party by gerrymandering, by exclusion of  whole blocks of people who might vote democrat or require government assistance; by the packing of the Supreme Court, and by using Citizens United and giveaway tax bills to firmly secure both votes and the money of the super-rich to exclude the Democrats for good.

Epicurus warned his followers against politics, and what is happening in the US illustrates why. If we want democracy (remember that?) restored and a fair, happy and fulfilling life for all the people, not just for the ruthless and privileged, we have to forget the indifference of Epicurus – and vote.  And make sure everyone we know votes.  If not, the natural autocrats are about to get their dearest wish.



One Comment

  1. I’d missed the role of Hofeller’s daughter and Common Cause. Good for her! I agree with your phrase “creeping coup” especially applied to efforts at voter suppression. Worrisome recent events in U.S. and Australia also suggest that the “creeping” can become a very heavy boot turning up at reporters’ doors. I don’t want to flatter the autocrats with “natural,” I think they’re the creation of a warped polis. Epicurus might accept a rewording–“reform the polis?”

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