GUEST EDITORIAL: One person, one vote, many lies
One man, one vote is a powerful slogan. One man, one vote is a powerful vision. One man, one vote is a powerful lie. For one hundred thirty years it was one man, one vote, and it was a lie. It became one person, one vote when White women got the right to vote in 1920, but it was still a lie. There is no one man (one person), one vote in these United States of America. One man, one vote, many lies.
There is no one person, one vote in electing the President of the United States of America. There is no one person, one vote in electing United States Senators. There is no one person, one vote in electing members of the United States House of Representative. There is no one person, one vote in electing state senators and state representatives. This beautiful vision is a mirage. This beautiful slogan is a fraud. One person, one vote, many lies.
The President of the United States of America is not elected through the addition of our individual votes. He (she?) is elected by 538 members of the Electoral College. And the electors are not based on a sum of our one votes. Basically, there is one elector for each United States Senator and each United States Representative. Each state has two U. S. senators regardless of the number of persons (and or votes) therein. For example, California has a population of 39,868,072; Texas has a population of 29,360,759; Florida has a population of 21,733,310; and New York has a population of 19,336,776. And each has two U.S. senators. On the other hand, Wyoming has a population of 585,501; Vermont has 624,594; North Dakota has 755,393; and Alaska has 865,454. However, each has two U.S. senators. The four states with the least population have a senator for every several hundred thousand persons (and are voters). The four states with the largest population have a senator for every 13 million persons. Washington, D.C. has a population of 692,683 without a single U.S. senator or representative. One person, one vote, many lies.
This wide disparity in U.S. senators regardless of population and/or voters is imbedded in the U.S. Constitution. That wide difference carries over to Presidential electors. The four most populous states have an average population of 956,000 per Electoral College Member. The four least populous states have an average population of 236,000 per Electoral College Member. That’s about four to one. There is no equality of population or votes per Presidential elector. One person, one vote, many lies.
Democrats have won the popular vote in seven of the last eight presidential elections. However, Democrats secured the presidency only five of the eight elections (one more than half). Republicans won the popular vote once in eight times but won the presidency three of the times (one less than half). There is no one person, one vote in electing the President of the U.S.A. One person, one vote, many lies.
The one person, one vote, many lies do not stop with Presidential and U.S. Senate elections. It involves the U.S. House of Representatives as well. It is a fact that most U.S. House districts are relatively equal in population except for certain smaller states. However, the redistricting process often minimizes the votes of certain voters (Democrats) and maximizes the votes of certain others (Republicans). It is called gerrymandering. Redistricting further corrupts the one person, one vote ideal. One person, one vote, many lies.
In the U.S. House of Representatives, Democrats have won the total popular vote many times. However, they did not secure a majority in the House of Representatives each time. Republicans secured the majority of congressional seats even though they did not have a majority of the total votes. One person, one vote is a mirage forged by hook and crook. One person, one vote, many lies.
State legislatures reflect the same imbalances. In the Wisconsin state legislative races, Democrats secured a majority of the total votes cast. However, they received only 39 of the 99 legislative seats with Republicans receiving 60. If it were one person, one vote, Democrats would have more than 50 percent. Gross violations of one person, one vote also occurred in Pennsylvania, Michigan, North Carolina, and other states. These sleigh of redistricting hands make one person, one vote not just imperfect but a fraud. One person, one vote, many lies.
The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to address these one person, one vote violations in the U.S. House of Representatives when it comes to partisanship. In the recent case of Rucho v. Common Cause, the Supreme Court left the matter up to the states, the very entities corrupting the one person, one vote ideal in the first place. The fox is guarding the hen house. One person, one vote, many lies.
The violation of the one person, one vote ideal commenced with the creation of this country. It is imbedded in the Constitution of the United States of America The U.S. Constitution designated each enslaved person of African descent as three fifths of a person for voting purposes. It left the right to vote up to individual states so women as well as White men who did not own land could be excluded from voting at will. That’s why so many states are able to consider voter suppression measures to this very day. One person, one vote, many lies.
Over the years, many of those initially left out have been gradually included as follows: White men without land (1828); White Catholics and Jews who owned land (1825); and White women (1920). In 1965, African American and Native Americans were finally included in the letter of the law upon enactment of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. However, the spirit of exclusions still rages to this day. One person, one vote, many lies.
Something can sound so good that we accept it as the gospel truth. Even when reality stares us in the face we still cling to it. One person, one vote is such a thing. It is not truth. It is not fact. But we cling to it. Now we must see it for what it is. One person, one vote, many lies.