UNC Professor Says NC Is Like Cuba, Indonesia, Sierra Leone

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UNC Professor Andrew Reynolds
UNC Professor Andrew Reynolds

A political science professor at the University of North Carolina, Andrew Reynolds, says North Carolina is no longer a democracy partly because the statewide Republican Party has been too successful at winning. Reynolds wrote a column saying in part, “North Carolina’s overall electoral integrity places us alongside authoritarian states and pseudo-democrats like Cuba, Indonesia and Sierra Leone.”

The professor also said “North Carolina is not only the worst state in the U.S. for unfair districting but the worst entity in the world ever analyzed by the electoral integrity project.”

The Fox News interviewer Pete Hegseth said to the professor, “We’re talking about states like Iran and Saudi Arabia where entire classes of people are not allowed to drive or vote, second-class citizenship. How do you make that — can’t you see how a lot of us would look at that and say, ‘That’s just going way too far?’”

Reynolds response:

“No. I think you have to look at the specifics of what we’re talking about. We’re taking the vital signs of a patient, and we’re looking at one specific element, which are the drawing of district boundaries. Now, there are very many authoritarian regimes where the boundaries mean nothing. But when you have a democracy, when you draw the lines to allow voters to choose their representatives, then you actually have to have a system that gives a fair shot to every side to win or lose. And our problem in North Carolina is that we have lost competition from the system. And that hurts Democrats and it hurts Republicans.”

What it boils down to is the professor is opposed to gerrymandering and redistricting. Gerrymandering is ruled illegal in North Carolina. He believes African-Americans are targeted. North Carolina is like a third world country because of these issues in his hyperbolic mind.

Democrats and Republicans are as culpable, Reynolds admitted. He wants North Carolina to form nonpartisan independent districting commissions.

He knows there is no such thing.

In his op-ed. Professor Reynolds says, “North Carolina is not only the worst state in the U.S. for unfair districting but the worst entity in the world ever analyzed by the electoral integrity project.”

He’s comparing North Carolina with states like Iran and Saudi Arabia where entire classes of people are not allowed to drive or vote, second-class citizenship.

The UNC Professor thinks redistricting makes us into Venezuela.

What the professor is advocating will actually take the power away from the people and put it in the hands of unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats.

Eli Lake, writer for The Washington Post, has examined the issue and found that nonpartisan independent panels haven’t worked where they’ve been tried in Ohio, Arizona and New Jersey.

Lake’s analysis:

The reason is because equal representation on the panel for both parties tends to favor the status quo. The commission is indeed bipartisan, not nonpartisan, and each party’s delegates on the panel are closely connected to their state parties and politicians. To avoid gridlock and approve a plan, commissioners must draw a map that is pleasing to both sides, and of course nobody on either side really wants a competitive district. Political scientists even have a name for this type of redistricting scheme: bipartisan gerrymandering.

The fact that they favor the status quo highlights another danger posed by independent panels: their independence. If voters are unhappy with a gerrymander enacted by the legislature, they can at least vote their state representatives out of office. In contrast, if citizens are upset with a commission’s plan, they have nowhere to turn. The panel is the final district-drawing authority, and is defined as such by the state’s constitution. Especially after electoral results become even more calcified, this can hardly be seen as democracy in the voters’ hands.

George Soros’ organizations like the idea of nonpartisan independent panels and wants to see judges selected in that way instead of citizens electing them.

We don’t want to go down this path or we really will be like Cuba, Indonesia and Sierra Leone.


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