(NewsGlobal.com)- Ron DeSantis, the Governor of Florida, revered by conservatives and despised by progressives, is at the center of a growing gerrymandering controversy.
After the 2020 census, states, as is their right, began drawing up new congressional redistricting lines. The party in power in each state seeks to carve up the state’s districts in a most beneficial way for keeping their power.
Everyone knows the game, and the GOP accepts it. The left, however, finds a way to make it uglier. DeSantis’s boundary recommendations couldn’t simply be a matter of tilting the power in one’s favor based on historical voting tendencies; it’s because DeSantis is a racist.
Greg Allen, of NPR, covered the political wrangling on his talk show by stating that Desantis is “setting his sights on overturning laws that protect the voting rights of African Americans.” He says DeSantis also wants to reassemble two districts so that black candidates would be hard-pressed to win elections.
Wouldn’t black conservative candidates win? The real issue is not about blacks not winning but about progressives not winning.
Allen maintains that the governor’s position is insensitive to the plight of disenfranchised black voters. He says DeSantis feels the discrimination in the past is no longer an issue, so any voting rights protections are no longer necessary.
To bolster his claim, the NPR host played a clip of DeSantis saying, “You would have parts of the country where the African American turnout was, like, 8%. I mean, obviously, they were not being allowed to vote. Now you have turnout rates that are much higher across the board. So I think it’d be very, very difficult to show that.”
DeSantis makes a solid case. But Allen rebutted by playing a clip of civil rights lawyer Cecile Scoon where she claimed all the evidence of discrimination one needs is to simply look at laws recently passed in Florida. Somehow, requiring voters to provide ID and limiting the number of drop boxes is racist.
All the evidence one needs to refute Scoon’s assertions is to look at voter turnout among the black communities in Florida. They are at all-time highs. That is the measure.
Allen is also concerned with DeSantis’s veto power. DeSantis says he will use his veto even with maps approved by the Republican-controlled legislature if the plans don’t redistrict more favorably. The left sees this as a calculated move that bolsters the governor’s 2024 presidential aspirations, although it is difficult to make that connection.
The NPR host says that the map DeSantis is pushing represents significantly more power for the GOP in Florida. Still, however, Republican lawmakers have been resistant, fearing expensive and time-consuming lawsuits.
Floridians voted a decade ago to ban political gerrymandering, but somehow Allen avoids mentioning that the redrawing of the 5th district was, as DeSantis maintains, a “flagrant gerrymander.” The new lines were created in 2015 by a panel of judges who thought the previous districting was “overly partisan.”
DeSantis feels that the sprawling district is unconstitutional, wanting it confined to the Jacksonville area. He also believes that the anti-gerrymandering law passed in 2010 is unconstitutional.
The struggle is real. It’s about gaining and maintaining political power. The left, however, sees DeSantis’s efforts most cynically when it is merely a political power play, the same play the left employs.