The country is in very divided right now, possibly more than ever before. While I never considered why that might be, let’s take a look at the role gerrymandering has played. When we move voting districts around to group people of similar race, income level, and way of thinking we lose the ability to see the other point of view and compromise. Gerrymandering has made it easier to get elected because you only have to appeal to one group of people, and whoever can appeal the most, with the strongest views will often win. This leads to a rise of extremism as both parties move to their outer edges. As it continues both camps lose the ability to see the other side, and more importantly, the necessity to compromise with the other side to win an election.
This has caused a number of problems, notably when the new wave of Tea Party supported congress people that went to Washington with the goal of doing nothing at all. This brought the sequester (a very poorly targeted brute force budget reduction), and brought the government shutdown, which lead to a credit down grade on US debt, which cost us money.
I think we are witnessing the other side perform a similar maneuver right now. The left which can’t understand the rise of Donald Trump and rally against everything about him without understanding his appeal, his policy suggestions, his history, or his stances on issues. They’ve gone completely nuts and are organizing to shutdown discussion, debate, and his rallies. The most recent chant of Trump protesters is simple, “Shut it down!” These people don’t care about free speech, or the people that waited in line for 4 hours to see a private event. They simply want to silence a wave of ideas they don’t agree with, and they seek to do so without reason or debate.
When protesters are interviewed and asked “Why did you come here today?” Their answers are “I don’t want to talk about it.”, “I don’t want to say my reasons.”, “Trump is Hitler/a Nazi.” These are not the answers of someone who employs reason, it is an emotional appeal.
The Arizona protesters of the Trump rally were truly desperate. Liberals parked their cars in the highway thinking they could stop people from attending the Trump rally, so police started to tow them. Then they chained themselves to the cars to make towing more difficult, one person in a Jeep chose to drive very slowly though the protesters, they protesters jumped up on his car. Most people looking to attend the rally parked their cars on the highway and walked to the rally. One of those people was a disabled Army vet with a cane who walked 3 miles to see Trump speak.
So like in 2013 when the extremist Republicans thought they could shut down the government, here in 2016 the extremist Democrats think they can shut down free speech and ideas. They failed in 2013 and in 2016 they will fail too, but our divisiveness has grown to the point that it is seriously going to be a danger to the country and its future well-being. We need to examine gerrymandering and bring back the necessity to compromise.