Democrats created gerrymandering—they must own it
Democrats have notoriously attempted to throw the Heisman hands at their policies when they turn south and point the finger to the Republicans, case in point:
- The “Defund the Police” movement. Amid a crime wave in liberal cities and states, Democrats in the White House and big media tried, albeit unsuccessfully, to spin the defunding of our law enforcement on Republicans.
- ObamaCare. During the 2012 presidential election, Democrats attempted to shift blame from the failing “Affordable” Care Act and deceptively tried to say the ACA was a Republican plan.
- Voting Rights. This week alone, the president falsely claimed that “voting rights are under assault,” mindlessly spreading falsehoods that GOP states are hindering minorities from voting. When the reality is, Blue states are the most restrictive states for voting, look further than New York and Delaware, where it is harder for Americans of all backgrounds to vote in local, state, and federal elections.
- Lastly, and the genesis of this piece, the Democrats’ attempts to blame Republicans for gerrymandering.
Gerrymandering––like the Ku Klux Klan, segregation of the Armed Forces, ending of Reconstruction, Jim Crow, current-day voting restrictions, and the list goes on––are all creations of, you guessed it, the Democrat Party.
The so-called attempt to disenfranchise minorities through gerrymandering has the Democrats’ DNA all over it, and if you know your history, you’d understand this statement. Full stop, a non-political assertion, the Democrats invented gerrymandering. Have you ever wondered where the name gerrymandering originated? Unfortunately, the answer does not live in textbook materials in your middle school civics book; however, it does live in a multitude of literature that is easily accessible courtesy of the internet.
The word “gerrymander” originated when the Boston Gazette published a political cartoon depicting a newly drawn serpent-like district in Massachusetts by Jeffersonian Republicans, formally known today as the Democrat Party. The man who signed off on this politicalized map (although admittedly reluctant) was the then governor of the commonwealth and future fifth vice president of the United States, a man by the name Eldridge Gerry. Oppositionists in the press quickly reacted and labeled the political move “The Gerry Mander,” a play on the governor’s last name and the shape of the newly created district that resembled a salamander. This name lives on till this day.
The practice of gerrymandering would continue through the late 18th and 19th centuries, but the method remarkably increased when Black men gained access to vote. Democrat-controlled states in the South drew partisan districts to maximize the electoral edge for the White southern-supported Democrats, rather than the Black-supported GOP. The tactic arranged for bizarre-shaped sections intended to concentrate Black voters in one district, thus cementing white-majority districts. One of the most egregious examples of this was the creation of the “boa constrictor” district in the Democrat-controlled state of South Carolina. This racist and absurd formation sliced and slithered the state into one snake-like area of Black Americans (the majority residents), leaving the rest as a safehold for white South Carolinians.
It wasn’t until the Republican-appointed Chief Justice Earl Warren ruled that all state voting districts must have roughly equal populations. Under this ruling, the Court also added that states must update their federal congressional districts every ten years and that each of the 435 members represented that same number of citizens. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 (notably receiving more “no” votes from Democrats than Republicans) also helped ensure more equitable districts.
You see, the Democrats can run, but they cannot hide from the truth when it comes to gerrymandering — their fingerprints are all over it.
As nearly half of all states have approved their new districts based on the latest census, we see more glaring examples of Democrats crying foul while being the primary abusers of the politicization of this practice. Look no further than the state of Illinois, where Democrats dominate the process and have historically manufactured figure eight-like districts that benefit their party.
Look, neither side of the aisle is entirely innocent when drawing partisan lines. As a Republican, I am well aware of both successful and unsuccessful attempts to taint the process with politics—but it is grossly disingenuous for the Democrats to deny their longstanding history as the main contributors of gerrymandering. For example, in 2022 alone, the Democrat-controlled Assembly in Maryland all but erased the sole Republican district in the state, the worst offenders in Illinois essentially Christmas-treed their districts to secure their majorities and pin Republican members against each other, and in New Mexico, the Democrats shifted an R+14 CD to a D+4 CD drastically impacting my Republican colleague, Yvette Herrell of the 2nd District.
Racial divisions are the Democrats’ one-trick pony in politics. They will pull every trick up their sleeves to deceive the American people into believing that minorities in America live in the times of the past. In recent elections, minorities voted in record numbers — with some leaving the Democrat Party and voting for conservative ideals. The myth about Republicans’ role in disenfranchising minorities through gerrymandering is a shell game from the Democrats’ ongoing efforts to cling onto political power. When you think of gerrymandering, think Democrat Party—the two are inseparable.
Byron Donalds represents Florida’s 19th District.
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