My latest op-ed appeared in The Virginian-Pilot Wednesday. In it, I talk about some of the legislation that has been introduced in this session of the General Assembly, legislation that has made Virginia the butt of jokes pretty much everywhere.
Drawing on the survey conducted by the Wason Center, it seems that the legislature is out of step with those who they were elected to represent. At the end of the day, this failure lies at the feet of the voters who didn’t participate in the political process. While a 28% voter participation rate is horrible, the real problem was that few cared enough about the redistricting process to ensure we had competitive elections. If the protests about redistricting had been as loud as those about the bills, we wouldn’t have gotten districts in which candidates of one party have virtually no chance of winning.
The real result of the lack of competitiveness is that we get ideologues, folks who are committed only to the base of the party. They don’t need the votes of moderates to get elected, so they don’t bother to listen to them. They forge ahead, oblivious to what the majority wants.
It is tyranny of the minority.
Imagine if we elected a president that way.
Even if you agree with the machinations of this legislature – and my email tells me that some of you do – you should be concerned about the move to have the minority impose its will on the majority. Because one day, assuming things go the way they always do, the shoe is going to be on the other foot.