Where are you on the political spectrum? According to a new NBC Esquire poll, chances are you’re in the middle. Fifthy-one percent of Americans are.
Not sure where you fall on the spectrum? Complete the poll’s online questionnaire to find out.
If you are in the middle, your country needs you. We’ve been crippled by the strident voices on the fringes of both sides, and the power they wield ensures they will hold on to that power unless we make some changes.
I think the most important change would be to de-politicize the process of redistricting. After every census, legislative districts are redrawn to reflect population changes over the preceding ten years. In most states, the state legislature does that job, and if Republicans are in charge, they draw the lines to ensure Republicans will get elected. Democrats do the same thing. Because people who think alike are gathered together in crazy-quilt districts, the chances of a member of Congress losing their seat is minimal. (If you want to really go in-depth on the problem, here’s an article by the brilliant statistician, Nate Silver.)
In Arizona, we can brag that we’re already there. We have an independent commission that does the job of redistricting every ten years. Of course, their work draws howls of protests from both sides and lawsuits too, but it’s a lot better than letting the legislature do it. California’s there as well, but they’ve gone a step further with a new primary election system. It’s non-partisan, so the top two finishers face off against each other, regardless of party. Californians at least get a choice of two candidates in their general election. How many times on an Arizona ballot have you seen a choice of just one candidate?
Washington isn’t going to change unless we change it.