Geographical Prejudice

 

Prejudice, its many layers unfolded, invariably yield an influence unhealthy to society. More than the nostalgic lampoon of quirky Americana in a Hollywood taint, geographical prejudice, at its extreme, has been a combative divide between regions of our society with often tragic results. Surprising as it would seem, the Democrat Party has made geographical prejudice a hallmark of their political agenda.

Much like Ranked Choice Voting, which by design circumvents the will of the rural voter, the Maine Democrat Party has introduced a bill that would give away its electoral votes to larger more populated states, in a first step move to eliminate the Electoral College. The so called “National Popular Vote Interstate Compact” is the means by which Democrats hope to give away Maine’s four electoral votes.

Eleven states and the “unstate”, but statist, Washington D.C. have joined the compact. All eleven states are Democrat strongholds, with California and New York the power brokers. In essence electorally, Maine Democrats want California to have their cake and eat Maine’s too.

The Electoral College was designed to insure that all regions of the Nation have an impact on the election of the President. If Democrats have their way and abolish the Electoral College, the Presidency would be decided by two States, California and New York. But Democrats want to take the travesty further with the interstate compact which could take the electoral votes of rural states and give them to urban states.

Yes, there is a pattern here. Democrats have made no secret of their disdain for the “backwards” beliefs, morals, and ideals of rural America. As with RCV, their aim is to silence rural voters by eliminating the structures that protect the integrity of those votes. This goal undermines the fundamental tenets of the Republic for fair representation.

-Andy Torbett

Geographical Prejudice Part Two

 

It is called “The Great Compromise”. A fragile new Nation was on the brink of disaster. The states could not agree. The contention was so sharp between them that the Constitutional Convention was “on the verge of dissolution, scarce held together by the strength of a hair,” so recounted by Luther Martin, one of the delegates to the convention.

The schism developed over the proposed plan for government first presented by Virginia’s Governor Edmund Randolph, drafted by James Madison also of Virginia, which would select representation based on population. This would be called “The Virginia Plan.”

Quick to see this would greatly encumber the small states’ access to government and be weighted heavily in the favor of larger more populated states, New Jersey’s William Paterson countered with a “one state, one vote” concept. This plan, “The New Jersey Plan”, would protect the interests of small states, ensuring equal standing and representation at the table of governance. There was no small dissension between the factions and the convention was on the verge of implosion.

The salvation of the fledgling nation, teetering on demise, came in the form of an agreement which would create a bicameral Congress. The House of Representatives would be elected by popular vote and weighted by population, The Virginia Plan. The Senate would follow the concept of one state, one vote, The New Jersey Plan.

With the confidence that small states’ rights were protected, the Constitution of the United States was ratified. The idea that one geographical area could dominate the governance of a free people simply because of its population, the travesty of that idea of geographical prejudice was corrected and those fears allayed. Still, for all their fore site and amazing sense of fairness for all, the Founders neglected to see the need to remodel the states’ structure of governance to mirror the national template.

Perhaps despite all of their towering foreknowledge, the Founders could not envision a time when urban areas would be so large that the counties which held that cities boundaries could dominate the political landscape of a state in much the same way that Virginia could dominate the political influence in the days of the Thirteen Colonies. But that day exists and we see it here in our state of Maine. Yes, the division of the two Maines exists and the tension continues to grow.

The southern part of the state prefers “The Virginia Plan”, which is how our state and all 50 states are governed. Dominated by Cumberland County which encompasses Portland and all the surrounding suburbia, the South holds the majority of legislators in both chambers; in fact, Cumberland County alone holds a dominant majority of legislators in comparison to Maine’s other fifteen counties because of the majority of the population that resides in that geographical location. This flies in the face of everything our Nation was founded upon and specifically “The Great Compromise”.

Because of this inequity, the smaller rural counties of Maine are afforded no system of check and balance in the current form of governance that exists in our state. In recent political cycles, rural Maine has eked out some political victories by driving record breaking voter turnout, over 80% in some locals, and then waited in hopes of lower turnout in southern Maine to gain slim victory. The political climates of each of the Maines are polar opposites, yet southern Maine, due to “The Virginia Plan”, is able to often legislate the governance of northern Maine, despite their protestations.

In an effort to remedy this wrong in much the same way our Founders did, both Senator Paul Davis and Representative Heather Sirocki have proposed at different times separate legislation which would have amended the state Constitution to in essence apply “The New Jersey Plan” and give every county two Senators mirroring the United States Constitution. Predictably, southern interests defeated those bills. Simply put, big government has a vested interest in keeping equitable representation out of governance.

Often when the subject of this legislation is discussed with politicians they will respond that is too difficult or too complicated, which is code for too lazy or too cowardly. Many legislators have forgotten the basic tenet of a Republic that is for the people by the people in that all people regardless of where they live should have equal standing with our government. I would strongly encourage Senator Davis and Representative Sirocki to reintroduce their legislation. This was the spirit our Founders understood in “The Great Compromise” and must be the goal of our legislators if they truly believe in fair, equitable, and unprejudiced representation of the people.

Geographical Prejudice Part One

 

The recent debate (I’m being kind. Tantrums is the more accurate term.) concerning the electoral college has brought into sharp clarity the desire or belief by some that only certain areas, and those that reside there, should decide the political fortunes of the rest of the Nation. It would seem if you follow this line of thinking (Again, I’m being kind), that a mere residency in certain enlightened geographical locations endows said resident with more political fortitude than those from less desirable locals, and therefore, those residents who reside in the “cool place” their votes should have more import,clout than those who reside in the “not-so-cool place”. Embracing this form of reasoning (I’m not even being kind here, I’m just throwing out nice terms in vain attempt to gloss over reality.) results in a form of governance called Pure Democracy, historically defined as Mob Rule.

To say that this columnist takes a dim view of geographical prejudice could probably be characterized as the understatement of the century…in some corners of humanity….somewhere… Still, our friends (I’m not going to help you through these “kind terms” anymore.) need to be reminded that despite all the work of politicians, media elites, educators, and actors, who live in those “cool places”, despite their efforts to convince us that we are a democracy, this election proved this time proven point. Self-absorbed, elitist, and “way cool” people are so blinded by their own arrogance that they rarely know anything of what their talking about.

Yes, elitist have been shocked to find out that despite their barrage of indoctrination attempts, the United States is still not a democracy and is still a Constitutional Republic. Our Founders chose a Constitutional Republic rather a Pure Democracy to protect us from “cool people” who live in “cool places” and think their opinion by virtue of their place of domicile should have more value than those in other geographical locations. They had seen throughout history that within a Pure Democracy instigators had merely to target high population areas where people tend to herd rather than think (IE. “How is Joe Cool voting? OK. That’s the way I’m voting.”), work up the mob to overthrow whatever perceived or real injustice, only for the people to find they had been used for a hidden agenda, and the cycle would start again. Civilizations under Pure Democracy are kept in a constant state of revolution until a dictator takes power that can rule the mob through brute strength. Remember, all dictators are voted in, yes, like Castro, Hitler, and others all shouting “Democracy”.

The Founders chose a Constitutional Republic to prevent this. By instituting the Electoral College and selecting two Senators from each State, no matter the population, the framers insured that the more rural States, whose residents tended to be less effected by populace swell, had an equal voice in the governing and electoral process. Furthermore, the Senator’s were elected by State’s legislature, leaning towards a Republic style of government, and the Representatives were elected by popular vote, a use of Pure Democracy.

Our Founding Fathers installed a Constitutional Republic with pieces of democracy to insure the fairest way that all areas of our Nation could have a equal voice. Which begs the question, why haven’t the States figured that little piece of common sense out? In the next installment, we’ll look at how Maine’s political system is entrenched with geographical prejudice and the steps we as citizens can take to make our voices heard and change this travesty which has oppressed this State for too long.