In a new piece, Vox is concerned that the Democratic Party might find it more difficult to win elections in the future – they call this the death of democracy.
Despite what Vox and many other media outlets are saying, democracy does not mean that the Democrats – or the Left, or any particular group – gets to win elections now and again. Democracy is the system by which we choose who does government for us and that’s all it is.
It’s true that gerrymandering – drawing electoral districts to benefit the party drawing the lines – has a long and storied history in American politics. But this is not in fact what is going on currently with the constitutionally mandated redistribution of Congressional seats after the Census.
It has long been true that the solid Democratic voting blocks and so the sure Democratic voting districts have been concentrated in the centers of the big cities. These are continuing to lose population, as they have been for decades. That population moving out to the suburbs, even to exurbia, is not so true blue and isn’t so concentrated in political views. So, the process is just going to make the Democrat vote more dispersed. There is no “fair” or impartial manner of changing that.
This is also not specific to the United States. The same process has been affecting all of the European left-wing parties as well. As the population redistributes from the old manufacturing hubs of the big cities then the number of solid left-wing electoral districts declines.
Vox claims to be the place that “explains the news” and has some 20 million visits a month. It’s ranked just outside the top 100 of news and media sites and at least aims itself at millennials. It’s an influential publication with that demographic.
It’s common enough to see the claim that the current changes to the voting districts, even the voting system, is the start of the death of democracy in America. Vox is not alone in making this statement. It’s still wrong in doing so, as are the other outlets repeating it. The redistribution of congressional seats is actually written down there in the Constitution, it needs to happen to follow population movements. That it’s not working in favor of Democrats is just one of those things. After all, democracy doesn’t mean that D wins sometimes, R others. It means that we the people get to decide.