In recent years, many government officials seem to have developed a “reverse Midas touch”. You know: everything they touch seems to turn brown and stinky.

I’d like to think that elected people at all levels would respond by working “full time”, learning how to respond constructively to charges like the one my Mother levels against them: “they don’t care about the country, only their party’s and their own personal interests”. SHE IS DISGUSTED!

Instead, in Ohio (but more generally as well), Republicans have resorted to cheating legally. It’s called gerrymandering, and it means “the winning party gets to redraw election districts so it can keep winning, without caring about the country, just their party’s and their own interest”, much as Mom had charged!

No surprise! That’s what parties do. But, if we persuade them how mad my Mom and so many others really are: they might do differently. Two ways to persuade them to try:

• negotiate some variant of philosopher John Rawls’ “veil of ignorance”, according to which neither party would know which group of redistricted districts they would end up with;

• shift responsibility for redistricting to an independent citizens' panel charged with creating fair and competitive districts.

Either way would satisfy Mom.
Bob Letcher (PhD , Cornell, 1994)