Ben Affleck: Republicans ‘want to dodge the consequences for their actions’ through gerrymandering
Ben Affleck is sounding the alarm about gerrymandering, saying it can “lead to very serious consequences for our democracy.”
The “Gone Girl” actor joined a virtual fundraiser on Tuesday alongside former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Attorney General Eric Holder and “Black-ish” star Tracee Ellis Ross to talk voting rights and gerrymandering.
One overly powerful political party “leads to a sense of voters not feeling like their vote counts, and in some cases they may well be justified in that feeling,” Affleck said during the event, hosted by Clinton’s Onward Together and Holder’s redistricting reform group All on the Line.
“It leads to hyperpartisan politics where special interests rule and party extremists are incentivized instead of common sense and finding common ground and compromise, and a lot of this we’re seeing in our country today,” the Academy Award winner said as he railed against Republicans who “want to dodge the consequences for their actions.”
“It’s time that we end partisan gerrymandering and do everything we can to return to what we thought was the principle of one person, one vote,” agreed Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee.
“Of course politics is about power,” she continued. “I mean, that kind of goes without saying. But this is unaccountable power. This is power with no recourse. This is power where a small minority gets to decide whether the issues you care about will ever get a hearing, get to decide whose votes count and whose votes don’t count.”
Multiple states have had their congressional maps, redrawn after the once-a-decade census, challenged by one party or the other. On Monday, the Department of Justice filed suit against Texas over its new map, saying it dilutes minority voting strength in violation of federal law.
“I think we’re at a moment of reckoning in America,” Holder told virtual attendees, who paid at least $25 to participate.
“I’m not being hyperbolic or alarmist — I think our democracy is on the line,” Holder said. “Right now, we’re in the midst of the greatest assault on the right to vote since the Jim Crow era, from partisan and racial gerrymandering to voter suppression to the subversion of our electoral system.”
“Our opponents are at ease bending, breaking, the rules of our democracy all for the power that they seek,” he said.
Republican lawmakers are “actually comfortable with a system of a political apartheid,” Holder added.
In a lighter moment during the gathering, Affleck heaped praise on Clinton, calling her an “extraordinary person” and a “wonderful role model.”
“I hope somebody recorded that introduction,” Clinton quipped. “Because you know, when days are hard, I’m just gonna listen to it again.”
Urging voting rights proponents to reach out to Congress and to “keep going no matter what,” Clinton said, “We will eventually be successful — despite the detours and the setbacks — because what we’re trying to do is so much in keeping with the values and the ideals of this country of ours.”