These are Fights Worth Having | Three Things Thursday
There’s a fight worth having in politics. It’s not the fight between liberals and conservatives. It’s not between big government and small government, or between left and right.
There’s a bigger, more critical fight to have: between those of us who want a government that represents we, the people, and those who want to corrupt our political system for themselves.
Today’s Three Things comes with some thoughts and updates on necessary fights we defenders of democracy need to have.
Jason Altmire and Carlos Curbelo, our advisory board co-chairs (who also happen to be former representatives themselves) wrote a piece for USA Today highlighting the critical need for reform in our political system.
“The key to fixing our broken political system is to give voters a new voice — a proportional voice — in our elections,” they write, “which are all too often skewed to the advantage of the partisan extremes.”
Plus, momentum around the movement is growing. Just last year, New Yorkers passed Ranked Choice Voting, Hawaiians passed vote by mail, and voters everywhere pushed for an nonpartisan redistricting process. Momentum is growing, it’s our job to seize it.
In a very unique take this week, Roll Call columnist Nathan Gonzalez argues why we as a nation (and those in the media) should stop referring to it as “Election Night”. While that may snazzy for television promos and talking points, the term reinforces the idea that elections should be decided immediately and within minutes -- which means that when an election isn’t called within an “acceptable” time frame, its results can be called into question.
Sometimes (such as in the case with Iowa) delays can mean that there’s actually something wrong with an election process. But more often than not, it’s simply down to a few hard working clerks and election officials doing their diligence to count every ballot and ensure that every back-up verification method is being called.
“Patience in waiting for the votes to be counted and analyzing the result is an important factor in maintaining the credibility of the elections,” Gonzalez writes, “If the media declares a winner in a close contest before all the votes are counted, and the other candidate wins after a complete count, the eventual winner will be perceived as illegitimate and it will make governing more difficult.”
Here’s an overlooked story that will outrage everyone: in 2018, 62% of Missourians voted to amend the state constitution to establish independent redistricting commissions and end partisan gerrymandering. This year, lawmakers in Missouri’s capital chose to override the voters, and effectively reestablish their ability to gerrymander.
In short, it’s everything we’re against. Voters overwhelmingly vote to end corruption in their state, and instead of listening to their constituents, lawmakers put their own interests first and ignored voters.
This is why we fight -- and why we support reform campaigns, and candidates. Without the right leaders in office, we can’t ensure that voters will come first. Without the reforms, it’s that much harder to get the right people elected to office.
Support our friends at Clean Missouri to end partisan gerrymandering once and for all. We can’t let politicians override the voices of we, the people.
We can do amazing things when we come together. These are fights worth having!