"Democratic processes could hardly help oppressed minorities who were barred by discriminatory election laws from even participating in the process. Those who did participate had a special interest in keeping the bar. Nor could those processes rectify the widespread and blatant violation of the constitutional requirement that election districts be realigned to conform to shifting demographic patterns, espcially the urbanization of the population. Those elected from the anachronistic rural districts had a compelling interest in maintaining their underpopulated fiefdoms."
- Richard M. Abrams, America Transformed: Sixty Years of Revolutionary Change, 1941-2001 (Cambridge UP, 2006)
This passage explains both what's the matter with Kansas politics, and the reason it will not change in the foreseeable future. The population is becoming more and more urban, but the legislative districts, esp. in the House, are lagging behind. The rural districts are overwhelmingly Republican (and right-wing), so that party, which controls both houses of the Leg, has no interest in redictricting. And there is no demand for same from beyond the Corn Curtain - there is no oppressed minority - no larger (galvanized) national constituency in more populous and richer states to demand attention and action. German-Americans are not being knocked over by firehoses and mauled by dogs. And there sure as shit ain't no mass movement. Result: an ever deeper shade of red (in the 21st c. sense).
All of which makes me wonder how many other states between the Rockies and Appalachians are in the same boat.
Literarisches Events (in and around Lawrence KS)
- PATRICIA LOCKWOOD. Lawrence. Thursday, September 11, 7:00 p.m., Spooner Hall, KU Campus.
- PATRICIA LOCKWOOD. Lawrence. Friday, September 19, 7:00 p.m. Lawrence Public Library. Sponsored by Raven Bookstore.
- DENNIS ETZEL, JR. & RACHEL CROSS. Lawrence. Thursday, September 25, 7:00 p.m., Raven Bookstore, 6 E. 7th St.
- TONY TRIGILIO. Lawrence. Thursday, Oct. 2, 4:00 p.m., English Room, Kansas Union, KU Campus. FREE.
- CALEB PUCKETT & JUSTIN RUNGE. Lawrence. Thursday, October 16, 7:00 p.m., Raven Bookstore, 6 E. 7th St.
- BEN LERNER. Kansas City, MO. Thursday, October 23, 7:00 p.m., Epperson Auditorium, Vanderslice Hall on the KCAI campus, 4415 Warwick Blvd.
- KRISTIN LOCKRIDGE & ROBERT DAY. Lawrence. Thursday, December 4, 7:00 p.m., Raven Bookstore, 6 E. 7th St.