Wednesday, July 7, 2021

HALF?!? Did you say HALF?!?

Apropos of nothing other than our collective future: yesterday I heard a couple of startling numbers. 

I was catching up on listening to The NPR Politics Podcast and they ran an episode called “How Democratic is American Democracy?” and of course we all know that our system of government, designed 250 years ago by slave owners, is not quite effective at governing a nation that is now 50 states big and has 330 million people living in it.

On the podcast they broke down what the actual force and effect of that is in a couple of ways that maybe I had just never thought of before, here are the ones that really made me go, “Are you kidding me?” and skip back about 30 seconds:

  • Half of the US population lives in 9 states.

  • 70% of the population is represented by 30 Senators

  • 30% of the population is represented by 70 Senators

  • Given the population distribution in the US and the way that people tend to vote in geographic groups, the Republican Party represents acreage, not people.

We all knew that something like this was true, but I had simply never heard it broken down into such simple and stark numbers before. It is TERRIFYING. This is not the system that we believe it to be. This is not the system we learned about in school. I mean … it IS the same system, but it does not actually function the way that we were told it was supposed to.

The episode was really interesting and also discomforting and I would encourage anyone to go and listen to it:


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