Another Gloomy Political Note

The review by the esteemed political analyst Norman Ornstein of Ezra Klein’s new book, Why Are We Polarized, supplies little cause for encouragement about America’s future. Among other problems –– like systematic voter disenfranchisement, unrestrained deep pocket financing of donor-compliant candidates, and Supreme Court-authorized blatantly partisan gerrymandering ––  population trends are such that electoral college results, which determine who is elected president, are becoming increasingly unrepresentative of the popular vote. By 2040, we may see a president elected despite losing the popular vote by a margin of five or six million, and because every state has two senators though their populations may differ by a factor of fifty or more, 30 million people may be empowered to elect 70 of the 100 senators. The U.S. appears to be slipping in the direction of authoritarian rule.