POLITICS & PREJUDICES
Politucs & Prejudices
Is the system hopeless?
Published: May 22, 2013
Democrats had no problem winning statewide races where everybody’s vote counted the same. But when races were more local, the Republicans have found a way to rig them.
Something Even More Terrifying
Many of those in state government no longer feel accountable to the people.
Partly, Michigan’s system of lifetime term limits is to blame. As I discussed last week, if the most you can serve in office is three two-year terms, you have little incentive to make wise long-term decisions.
What you are likely to want more is to please lobbyists who might give you a job when you are finished in politics.
What about ticking off swing or moderate voters? Not to worry. Thanks to gerrymandering, most Republican legislators are in districts no Democrat will ever have a chance to win, and vice versa.
All that GOP lawmakers have to worry about is a challenge from some even crazier right-wing wacko in a primary election. That’s the reason behind many of the bizarre and terrible things going on in Lansing, including, for example, Republicans costing the state $40 million by refusing to create a health care registry.
That’s why they won’t spend money to fix the roads and have refused to
accept a Medicaid offer to insure
hundreds of thousands of people who now don’t have health care.
That’s why they are passing laws with appropriations bills attached, to prevent the possibility of them being overturned by angry voters. This is all very frightening on a number of levels.
Unless something changes, people may — sooner rather than later — give up on the democratic process. That could lead to a number of outcomes not in your civics textbook if and when people get desperate enough.
And none of those are very pretty.
Jack Lessenberry opines weekly for Metro Times. Send comments to email@example.com.
> Email Jack Lessenberry