The Surprising History of Gerrymandering

The Surprising History of Gerrymandering

Nicholas Seabrook
Show Date
October 31, 2022
Created time
Oct 18, 2022 2:37 PM
Interview Date
Related to Weekly Invoice (1) (📆 Latest)
Related to Weekly Invoice (📆 Latest) 1
Related to Weekly Invoice (📆 Latest) 2

It’s not easy to write a bestseller about American political history. Most of us remember the boredom of civics lessons on log-rolling, pork barrel spending, and Gerrymandering – shortcomings in our democratic system rooted in the selfish interests of our elected officials. Nick Seabrook, however, has managed to the topic of Gerrymandering into work of popular non-fiction that makes the “surprising history” come to life. Seabrook is a professor of political science and public administration at the University of North Florida, and he joins me this Sunday to explain why the biggest threat to our democracy comes from the way we draw lines on map.

The “Gerrymander” – named for the under-appreciated Founder, Gerry Elbridge – is a frightening creature, Seabrook says, because it reverses the traditional mode of democratic decisionmaking. Instead of the voters selecting their elected officials, the elected officials select the voters. The end result is a rigged system that favors incumbents and party insiders at the expense of We, the People.

Nick will take us through the highlights of Gerrymandering history – from the most egregious examples, to the pivotal moments when a Gerrymander forever changed the trajectory of our country. He will also explain how the courts view their role in policing unfair redistricting practices, and which states are the worst offenders.

Before casting your ballot for the midterms, be sure to catch this episode of the show of ideas.