Episode 36, available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and YouTube


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David Daley is a journalist, the former editor-in-chief of Salon.com, and the author of Ratf**ked: Why Your Vote Doesn't Count. During our conversation, David talks about the watershed 2010 REDMAP initiative (short for the Redistricting Majority Project) and how gerrymandering has essentially rigged U.S. Congressional elections. He also talks about the second-order consequences of the success of REDMAP: that our political system increasingly incentivizes political extremism and disincentivizes compromise and working across the aisle.

David believes that gerrymandering is an existential threat to our democracy, and I tend to agree with him. This subject reminds me of the Charley Munger quote: "Show me the incentives and I will show you the outcome."  To me, gerrymandering isn't a partisan issue; we owe it to ourselves to have a republic that has fair elections. And we should rightly fear what's likely to happen to our society if we don't.

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Time Stamps:

(00:00) Intro
(01:00) Get to know David Daley
(02:55) How David got interested in gerrymandering
(08:34) What gerrymandering is
(18:21) REDMAP and its impact on the U.S.
(25:17) The importance of electoral fairness in a democracy
(34:01) How the Trump phenomenon was influenced by gerrymandering
(42:01) The Republicans' and Democrats' attempt to control redistricting in 2020
(45:51) Redistricting decision-making in a state controlled by one party
(47:52) Who makes redistricting decisions in U.S. states?
(50:30) Who you can refer to for unbiased views on gerrymandering?
(58:22) The Democrats’ own gerrymandering in New York and Maryland
(01:02:17) The hope for change around gerrymandering in the future
(01:08:33) How gerrymandering is an existential threat to U.S. democracy
(01:12:19) Pushing back against America's authoritarian tendencies
(01:17:29) The future of gerrymandering in America

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