4-6: One Person, One Vote

Supreme Court Votes 8-0

So, what is democracy, anyway, if it is not government of, by, and for the people? It took America a long time to get rid of slavery (which wasn’t democratic)–not unlike the same situation in ancient Greece, The Birthplace of Democracy. The same can be said for the recognition of women as equal citizens to men.

The Nation magazine reports that:

“last December the same conservative activists who persuaded the Supreme Court to gut the Voting Rights Act challenged the historic principle of ‘one, person, one vote.’ They asked the Court to allow states to draw districts based on eligible or registered voters, as opposed to total population … If that happened, millions of people, including children and non-citizens, would have been denied political representation. Districts would have become older, whiter, more conservative and more favorable to Republicans.

The Supreme Court rejected that challenge, upholding “one person, one vote” in a unanimous 8-0 decision. This is truly remarkable given the 5-4 nature of the Roberts court before the death of Antonin Scalia. It is also remarkable in that this is the same court that tells us that money is speech and that corporations are people.

“Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote the decision, saying that all people are entitled to equal representation under the law. ‘It remains beyond doubt that the principle of representational equality figured prominently in the decision to count people, whether or not they qualify as voters,’ she wrote.”

I have written recently of what proved to be America’s hyperbolic fear of communism. That form of government has demonstrated in country after country to be politically flawed and economically self-destructive. And so I have a question for the most conservative citizens we have out there. Why are you afraid of democracy?

  • You oppose one man/one vote because it allows more people to gain representation in our so-called representative government.
  • In a host of states you strive to make voter registration and voting itself so difficult as to discourage people from registering and voting.
  • You condemn the Affordable Care Act but you love your Medicare and Social Security.
  • You admired a strong Executive Branch (i.e., Bush and Cheney) but you hate Barack Obama.
  • You want to spend millions building a wall along the Mexican border, but you don’t want tax money spent on repairing bridges and other infrastructure disasters waiting to come.
  • You say we are a country of law, yet you are afraid to have prisoners in Gitmo transferred to American soil and tried in federal courts. Oh, I forgot, they can’t be allowed to have their cases heard publicly because we would have to admit that we tortured them, without indictment or conviction.
  • You want to “take America back.” To when? WWI. Depression. WWII. Korea. Vietnam. Iraq. Afghanistan.

[PTSD Coping Strategy: Use healthy distractions (like blogging). I will just say that the “good old days” weren’t that good for everyone, including those who would “make us great again.” Not everyone is nostalgic for a past that largely never was. And some of us want to get on with a life that we know can be better for ourselves and future generations.]


For more on the Supreme Court decision, see:


One thought on “4-6: One Person, One Vote”

  1. The good old days differ for everyone and everyone has at least one of them.
    The depression was good old days for some, because they didn’t know there was anything better so in memory it was good.
    A childhood memory even if only one, of say a birthday gift or a Christmas gift brings back such happiness, that time becomes the good old days.
    The aftermath of war can become the good old days for some, because the fighting was over and family members returned and were out of harms way.
    Ones past help to determine what we remember, and for many it is only the good times albeit maybe only a day.
    Our question is, is it possible to make good memories over a period of time for everyone? How can we accomplish this? Should we even try? Will we even try?

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