Gerrymandering of Congressional Districts Threatens Democracy

Despite the abysmal popularity of Congress, only eight members lost re-election in 2016. More than nine out of 10 races were not the least bit competitive. The incumbents won overwhelmingly, with margins you would expect in North Korea, Russia or Zimbabwe. Lack of competition has a “seriously corrosive effect on the integrity of democracy…We must remember that what truly differentiates democracy from despotism is political competition. The longer we allow our districts to be hijacked by partisans, blue or red, the further we gravitate away from the founding ideals of our republic and the closer we inch toward the death of American democracy.” But there is hope for positive change. The US Supreme Court will take up partisan gerrymandering this year. — Brian Klaas,  a Fellow in Comparative Politics at the London School of Economics, wrote this piece for The Washington Post. He is the author of The Despot’s Accomplice: How the West is Aiding & Abetting the Decline of Democracy.


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