CalExit Will Never Happen

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After the election of Donald Trump, many people got irrational, particularly Governor Jerry Brown, and the people of California (who ironically opened an embassy in Moscow in protest). Since then, many people, both in California and across the country, have pushed for the Golden State’s secession. Last Tuesday, California’s Attorney General decided to humor the #CalExit organizers.

Last Tuesday, California Attorney General  Xavier Becerra apparently finished his scotch, said “what the hell,” and gave his stamp of approval for a group of people to begin gathering the more than 585,000 signatures needed to allow a ballot initiative that would allow a ballot initiative calling for secession to be put on the 2018 ballot. If the ballot measure were to somehow pass, a commission would form to explore how the state could secede from the United States, unfortunately, this will never happen. calexit dos.jpg

Secession isn’t a new idea, outside the Civil War, the idea pops up every couple of years, normally in Texas, and at that time realists endlessly mock these attempts, and for good reason, the fact remains that there is no way to secede from the Union written in the Constitution.  Article IV Section 3 of the Constitution deals with how to admit a new state into the country, but the reverse is never discussed, and has been dismissed outright by plenty of respectable legal scholars.

In 2006, former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was asked by screenwriter Dan Turkewitz if a group of people suing the government for the right to secede would be a good plot point. Scalia responded saying that state’s do not have the right to secede. In his letter back to Turkewitz, Scalia said that such an issue would never even reach the Supreme Court:

“To begin with, the answer is clear. If there was any constitutional issue resolved by the Civil War, it is that there is no right to secede. … Secondly, I find it difficult to envision who the parties to this lawsuit might be. Is the State suing the United States for a declaratory judgment? But the United States cannot be sued without its consent, and it has not consented to this sort of suit.”

Scalia.jpgWhat Justice Scalia pointed out in that first line is something most people don’t realize.  In the eyes of the United States government, there no such thing as the “Confederate States of America.” The southern states, in their mind, were just occupied by hostile citizens. This line of thinking was pointed out in the 1869 Supreme Court case Texas v. White.  This case argued that Texas’s Confederate state legislature had illegally sold bonds that were owned by Texas, and issued by the United States government as part of the compromise of 1850. While ruling on this case, the justices wrote;

“The Constitution, in all its provisions… looks to an indestructible Union composed of indestructible States.”

So while Jefferson Davis and his friends may have seen themselves as an independent country, the United States hadn’t given them the go-ahead to secede, so they had no sovereignty. The Civil War was a war for independence, much like the American Revolution was a war for independence. We had to defeat the British before getting the go-ahead to secede; if we had lost, we’d have socialized medicine and a government that doesn’t respect individual rights, and do we really want that?

While it amuses us to think that a state that disagrees with our own core ideologies could soon be gone, it is unlikely to happen. So unfortunately it looks as though referring to San Francisco as a “foreign country” will remain hyperbole.

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Oregon Wants To Take Your Guns

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“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” – 2nd Amendment to the Constitution

A recently passed Oregon Bill would allow a police officer, or a family member to seek a court order that would require subjects to turn over their guns, for up to a year, if the petitioners and the court think they could be a harm to themselves or others.  Apparently they don’t understand the term “shall not be infringed.”

According to the bill, the legislation, which now sits on Governor Kate Brown’s desk, the bill; 

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Oregon Governor Kate Brown

“Creates process for obtaining extreme risk protection order prohibiting person from possessing deadly weapon when court finds that person presents risk in near future, including imminent risk, of suicide or causing injury to another person. Establishes procedures for law enforcement officer or family or household member of person to apply for order. Establishes procedures for respondent to request hearing, and for continuance of order after hearing or if hearing is not requested. Establishes procedures for termination and renewal of order”

So how does the state decide who is deserving of an “extreme risk protection order?” Glad you asked!

“(6)(a) The court shall issue an extreme risk protection order if the court finds by clear and convincing evidence, based on the petition and supporting documentation and after considering a statement by the respondent, if provided, that the respondent presents a risk in the near future, including an imminent risk, of suicide or of causing physical injury to another person. “

The bill is being propped up by gun control advocates like former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, as a way to prevent the mentally ill from causing harm to themselves or others. The hilariously ironic thing about that line of thinking is that mental illness is perhaps the one thing courts are not allowed to consider when issuing this “protection” order.

“The court may not include in the findings any mental health diagnosis or any connection between the risk presented by the respondent and mental illness”

While petitioner’s must prove that the person in question is at “extreme risk.” The bill defines this as anyone who has a history of threatening violence, either against themselves or others. But a previous violent misdemeanor would also make someone eligible, so would a previous DUI.

The subject of one of these petitions has no right to contest the order before it is issued, although they can appeal it afterwards. Once a petition is issued, the subject would have 24 hours to surrender all their weapons, if they were to refuse to surrender their weapons, they could find themselves in jail for up to a year, a $6,250 fine, or both.

The bill wasn’t passed in good faith, according to Reason.  Upon the bill passing through the Senate;

“SB 719 was sent not to the House Judiciary Committee—which usually handles criminal legislation, but is chaired by pro–Second Amendment Democrat Jeff Barker—but rather to the House Rules Committee. That committee’s chair decided to forgo a public hearing on the bill, and instead passed it out of committee the day before July 4, when half the Republicans committee members had already gone home.”

Ignoring the fact that this bill blatantly violates the second amendment, this legislation won’t accomplish anything, and can actually hurt those whom the bill is aiming to protect.

A suicidal person doesn’t need to use a gun to kill themselves, so it’s hard to see how it would protect someone from self-harm.  While the bill could put victims of domestic violence at risk.

One of the criteria of petitioners includes not only law enforcement, but family members, and anyone you live with.  Let’s say that a woman is in an abusive relationship and one day during the abuse she threatens to kill herself. The abusive partner could then turn to the court system and have them take away the weapon that could save the victim’s life.

Oregonians rights could also be trampled by judges with an agenda like Kenneth Walker , who has publicly stated that he wishes he could “dump all guns in the ocean.”

 

Hopefully Oregon’s senate will attempt to tear this bill up sooner, rather than later.

Republicans Announce 2018 Budget; Economy is Still Screwed

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For years Libertarians, and a select few Republicans have been talking about this countries out of control spending problem, and our massive debt. On Tuesday morning House Republicans introduced their 2018 budget, which if passed as is tomorrow morning, would give Republicans like Paul Ryan a “win,” but would do little to help this country in the long-term. 

Paul Ryan

Paul Ryan and the GOP are trying to trick us.

The House plan would slash federal spending by $5.4 trillion dollars over the next decade. While cutting spending on mandatory programs, like medicare and medicaid by $4 trillion over that same period of time. If passed as is, the budget would pave way for Republicans to attempt to overhaul our tax code for the first time since 1986.

Overhauling the tax code has been talked about for years, but has gained little traction, and it is unlikely that Republicans will be successful in their endeavors this time for a few reasons. First, the budget would have to pass both the House and the Senate, with no changes; which seems unlikely. Second, this congress has given us no reason to believe they are serious about fiscal change; especially after they failed to repeal the taxes created by Obamacare, which Republicans in the House and Senate both said would be vital to overhauling the tax code.

Despite that, Paul Ryan has pushed forward; calling for less tax brackets, switching to a territorial tax system, and repealing the “Alternative Minimum Tax” which, when passed, meant well, but has damaged the middle class,

[the AMT] was designed to keep wealthy taxpayers from using loopholes to avoid paying taxes. But because it was not automatically updated for inflation, more middle-class taxpayers were getting hit with the AMT each year. Congress traditionally passed an annual “patch” to address this until, in January 2013, as part of the “fiscal cliff” deal, they passed a permanent patch to the AMT.

What the budget doesn’t contain, however, is any cuts to defense spending. In fact, the budget calls for  $621.5 billion in national defense spending, up from $598 billion in 2016.  Just for comparison, the next biggest defense budget in the world last year was China, at $146 billion. 

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via WaPo

 

Hawks on both sides of the aisle see the increased defense spending as a good thing. They don’t care that we spend more than any nation on earth on defense, as long as they save face with the military. This is despite the fact that the Defense Business Board found $125 billion dollars in administrative waste related to defense spending over the next five years. Legislatures could have easily cut this spending without closing a single base, or putting this nation at risk, but playing politics is more important than economic collapse.

The proposed spending cuts are a drop in the bucket, when considering we have nearly $20 trillion in national debt. The Congressional Budget Office seems to agree, and has released a particularly grim outlook for our economy over the next 10 years.  The American Enterprise Institute describes why the CBO’s report is so troubling;

“ [the] baseline — a forecast of federal revenue, spending, deficits, and debt — assumes current laws and policies will remain as they are today for the next 10 years. President Trump has modified a small number of relevant budgetary factors since taking office, particularly the level of defense spending in 2017. But, for the most part, CBO’s projections reflect the policies put in place during the tenure of the Obama administration.”

The cuts proposed by Republicans are like a Kardashian: aesthetically pleasing, but ultimately worthless. In 2018, the CBO expects the deficit to be $563 billion, down from an expected $693 billion in 2017. However, by 2027, the CBO expects the deficit to rise to $1.5 TRILLION which would be an expected 5.2% of our GDP.  The projected deficits will push federal debt to 90% of our GDP by 2027, up from 39% in 2008. Considering that from 1983 until 2008 GDP grew at an average  of 3.3%, and in 2019 and 2020 the CBO expects GDP to grow at just 1.5%, our economic future looks grim.

While the outlook is just a prediction, it’s hard not to be a little pessimistic about the whole situation.  If we want to affect real change, and truly make America great again, then we need to make an effort to elect politicians who are unafraid to make painful, unpopular decisions. In his classic book on economics; “Economics in One Lesson,” Henry Hazlitt demonstrates the need to look at the long-term outlook of every policy decision we make, even if it makes us worse-off in the short term.  Unfortunately, we live in an age where politicians are constantly campaigning, kicking the can down the road for someone else to deal with later. For a society so hell-bent on leaving the earth in better shape for our children, we sure seemed to have forgotten that we will also leave them our economy.

 

Oregon Could Become The First State To Decriminalize Drugs

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In 2015 more than 50,000 people died from a drug overdose, while 13,000 of those deaths were due to heroin, that number was up 13% from 2014. Nearly 10,000 of those people died from an overdose on synthetic opiods like fentanyl, up 73% from 2014. In fact, 4/5 heroin addicts were first addicted to the synthetic opiods prescribed by doctors across the country.

This number is scary as hell, considering that 7/10 Americans take at least one prescription daily, while more than half are prescribed at least two drugs to take regularly. The number of Americans taking prescription drugs has increased 48% in the last decade, and we can logically conclude that the actions of  doctors and pharmaceutical companies has helped kill hundreds of thousands of Americans in that time period.

The numbers are alarming, and the question of how do we handle this country’s drug epidemic has become a more bipartisan issue.  As politicians and health experts scramble to come up with a solution, Oregon thinks they may have found an answer.  

Last month the Oregon state legislature passed two controversial bills, HB3078 and HB2355, meant to tackle the state’s growing drug problem. In a state that sees more than 19,000 deaths annually from drug overdoses, why would legislatures pass two bills that essentially decriminalize the possession of heroin, meth, cocaine, and other hard drugs? Shockingly, the answer comes from the  Oregon State Sheriff’s Association and the Oregon Association Chiefs of Police, who wholeheartedly support the legislation; 

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HB2355 and HB3078 are sitting on Governor Kate Brown’s desk

The two groups released a statement Monday saying they want to lighten what they see as the heavy hand of Oregon law by supporting changes that would make drug possession a misdemeanor. They support the change only in cases when someone possesses “user amounts” of drugs and commits no other crime.”

The two groups argue that drug addicts need professional treatment, not jail time, and while at first glance the idea to decriminalize incredibly dangerous substances may seem idiotic, it’s not like it has never been done before.

The Portugal Experiment

In 2001 Portugal saw a rising drug epidemic in their country, in an attempt to fix that problem the decriminalized all drugs. The Portuguese saw drugs not as a criminal problem, but a public health problem, they decided that instead of send

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via the Washington Post

ing offenders to prison, everyone would be better served if the offender entered a mandatory treatment program. At the time, the move was roundly criticized, both within Portugal and abroad for being reckless. Sixteen years later, Portugal has the second lowest overdose rate of any country in the European Union, with only three people out of a million succumbing to a drug overdose.  

Despite decriminalization, Portugal has actually seen a dramatic decrease in drug usage, as well as a decrease in the diseases, and costs, associated with drug use.

What Oregon’s Legislation Actually Does

As it stands, drug use costs the state of Oregon $6 billion taxpayer dollars annually, while 23% of inmates within the state are serving time for drug related offenses, and 72% of men arrested within the state are charged with some sort of drug related crime. The negative economic effect this problem has on the economy, as well as the number of families that are torn apart because of the health issues and  lengthy prison sentences associated with drug usage are staggering. Oregon policy expert Dale Jarvis explains the negative effects drug usage has had on Oregon;

“What many don’t realize is that someone with a serious addictions disorder is going to have their body fall apart in a relatively short period. They are going to become disabled, if they don’t die first. They’re going to end up costing the taxpayer an enormous amount of money treating their serious health conditions, and then they are going to die early.”

House Bill 2355 would decriminalize hard drugs for offenders with no previous felonies, and no more than 2 previous drug convictions. Diverting offenders to mandatory treatment programs instead of putting a criminal conviction on their record gives these offenders a chance at a viable future, an opportunity for them to recover and live a normal life, providing them with hope for the future.

House Bill 3078 would be enacted in conjunction with HB2355, reducing drug related property crimes from felonies to misdemeanors. Known as the “Family Sentencing Alternative Pilot Program” offenders would be eligible if:

(b) The defendant [has not previously been convicted of, and] is not currently being sentenced for: (A) A person felony as defined in the rules of the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission; (B) A sex crime as defined in ORS [181.805] 163A.005; or (C) An offense requiring a specified sentence

Instead of jail time, eligible offenders will have to enroll in a 12 month treatment program followed by a probationary period, with the goal being to help these addicts recover and live a normal life.

“the Department of Human Services, shall determine if the Family Sentencing Alternative Pilot Program is an appropriate program for the defendant and, if the program is appropriate and the defendant is sentenced to a term of probation, require participation in the program for the first 12 months of the probationary sentence. In addition to the conditions of probation ordered under ORS 137.540, the defendant may be required to comply with any additional conditions related to the program”

HB3078 would further provide local jurisdictions with $7 million dollars annually to give communities the resources to set up treatment programs.  

Whether or not the inefficient state should be running such a program is debatable. But what isn’t debatable is the fact that this country has a major drug problem, and the status quo isn’t working. Former Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis famously said in New State Ice Co. v. Liebmann that a “state may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.” Lets hope, for everyone’s sake, that Oregon’s new policy towards drugs is signed into law, and effective.

Third Parties Could Have a Future, If New Bill Passes

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It’s no secret that the two party duopoly in this country has done everything in their power to suppress political freedom in this country. From filing lawsuits to deny minor parties ballot access, to refusing to let non Republican and Democrats debate, many people feel as though they have no choice but to vote for the “lesser of two evils” or else risk “wasting” their vote. Well, legislation introduced late last month is designed to change all of that.  

In late June, Democratic Virginia Congressman Don Beyer, along with his Democratic colleagues Ro Khanna (CA), and Jamie Raskin (MD) introduced legislation that would radically alter the way we elect our representatives. Nader vote

As it currently stands, individual state legislatures are in charge of drawing up congressional districts.  What generally tends to happen, in this scenario, is that the governing party draws up districts in a manner that is most beneficial to said party. This gerrymandering means that a Republican controlled legislature in Wisconsin, or a Democrat controlled legislature in Connecticut can use their power to ensure that their opposition will have a tough time winning an election.  This gerrymandering means that 97% of congressmen get re-elected.

Under the “Fair Representation Act,” that would change. According to Rob Richie, Executive Director of the advocacy group “FairVote,” this legislation creates an

“ impartial, national standard that gets at the core of FairVote’s mission: Giving voters greater choice, a stronger voice, and a representative democracy that works for all Americans.”

The bill has three major components. RCV_Easy_Ballot_Ranked_3.jpg

First; it would ensure that an independent board, not state legislatures are drawing congressional districts. By having an independent board handle redistricting, it eliminates one political party from drawing up districts that specifically help that party.

Second; the bill would establish “multi-member” districts. This means that if you’re living in Michigan’s third district, instead of having one person represent that entire district, you may have 3 people representing that district. That way there is a chance for every group to receive equal representation.

Finally, and most importantly, this bill would change our voting system from a “winner take all” system, to a “ranked choice voting” system.  As it currently stands, if a candidate wins 40% of the vote, and their opponent receives 39% of the vote, the person who received 40% of the vote wins the election, even though 60% of voters voted against them.  

In a “ranked choice voting” system, voters would be allowed to rank their candidates based on preference.  So if you’re a Libertarian, who wants to vote for the Libertarian candidate  but also doesn’t want to help elect a progressive socialist, you won’t have to compromise on your values and vote Republican. Instead, what you would do, is vote for the libertarian candidate, ranking them as your first choice, then you could vote for the Republican as your second choice. Because in a “ranked choice voting” system, candidates need a majority of votes to win the election.  

So let’s say you vote for a Libertarian as your first choice and a Republican as your second choice.  If the Libertarian only receives 10% of the vote, and the Republican receives 45% of the vote, while the Democrat receives 40% of the vote, there would be no official winner.  In that scenario, the election committee would then look at voter’s second preference, so if that 10% who voted Libertarian all had the Republican candidate as their second choice, the Republican would win with 55% of the vote.  

While ranked choice voting seems like it wouldn’t make much of a difference, especially if the two major parties continue to win elections, it would erase the “wasted vote” stigma, and over time third party candidates would have a legitimate shot at winning more elections.

Trump Has An Idea That Everyone Can Agree On! (Except Democrats)

 

 

During the Presidential campaign Donald Trump promised to strip the Federal Aviation Administration of some of their power by finally privatizing Air Traffic Control.  On Tuesday, a bill doing just that passed a major legislative hurdle.

The bill was introduced by Bill Shuster (R,PA), and passed committee by a vote of 32-25, with every Democrat voting against the bill.

The legislation would create a privately held non-profit corporation held by a 13 member board of directors. The NPO would then be funded by a service fee that would presumably be paid for by airlines, and passed along to ticket holders. Which could, have some effect on ticket prices, but better that the fee is paid for by those traveling than by taxing everyone.  

There was, however, a lone Republican dissenter. Todd Rokita (R, IN) broke party lines in committee, voting against the measure saying;

“It’s the corporatization of a monopoly where one part of the ecosystem can take over the rest”

In Milton Friedman’s masterpiece on the role of capitalism in freedom, “Capitalism and Freedom: Fortieth Anniversary Edition” he states that if monopolies exist, he would rather they exist in the public sphere because the public sphere reacts swiftly to change. 

Nav Canada has operated independently from the Canadian government since 1996.

Take Canada, for example; Canada privatized Air Traffic Control through a privately held NPO in 1996. Since then, as Investors.com has noted; 

“As part of its never-ending, multibillion dollar”NextGen” upgrade project, the FAA plans to replace the paper strips that flight controllers still use to track flights. The current plan is to have electronic flight strips in just 89 of the nation’s busiest airport control towers — 11 years from now.”

During that same period of time, the budget of the FAA has increased 95% while Air Traffic Control costs have increased 71%.

The inefficiency has even been noticed by the government. Inspector General Calvin Scovel admitted in front of the House Transportation Committee that the FAA suffered from;

Inspector General Calvin Scovel admits the FAA has a problem.


“long-standing management problems have led to further delays with FAA’s efforts to deliver new technologies and major acquisitions.”

 

Chris Edwards, from the Cato Institute, notes that our ATC system is so technologically behind that we are still using radar detection. Most of the civilized world transitioned to GPS years ago. 

 

Privatizing Air Traffic Control is a great first step. It’s not inconceivable to believe that privatizing the ATC will lead to better technology, and more efficient flight paths. And at the end of the day, if our flights are shorter, isn’t that a win for everyone?

3 Things to Watch in 2018

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With the 2018 midterms approaching, the political climate in this country is going to be interesting to watch.  Sometimes it’s hard to predict what issues could be of importance, or what politico’s should be looking out for – but if you pay attention, you can make a few guesses as to how politicians will campaign, and what they will pay attention to.  After a crazy 2016 election, 2018 promises to be pretty divisive. 

Universal Basic Income

UBI

As more jobs become automated, and the cost of social welfare programs soar, there has been growing support in the last few years to roll out a “Universal Basic Income” for all Americans.  A UBI is pretty straightforward. Each American receives a set amount of money from the federal government each month to cover some living expenses.  The idea is hardly new, and currently a UBI is being tested in both Finland and Ontario Canada.  Now it’s gaining popularity in the United States; not only among progressives, but among some libertarians who see a UBI as a more cost-effective alternative to welfare.

Silicon Valley has become increasingly vocal in their support for a UBI; so much so that Y Combinator, a Silicon Valley based firm that provides “seed” money to startups, is experimenting with giving 100 families in Oakland California between $1000-$2000 a month as a way to cover expenses.  Proponents like Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk see a UBI as a way to combat automation stealing jobs, and income inequality.  The issue gained further attention on June 17th when Hawaii’s legislature passed a bill introducing a UBI to the state budget.  Although Alaska has been giving citizens oil money since 1976, if signed into law, Hawaii will become the first state to pass a UBI as a way to combat poverty.  

The idea isn’t just popular among progressives.  Some libertarians have argued that a UBI is more efficient than the current welfare state.  Matt Zwolinski, of the Cato Institute, points out that we spend $668 billion dollars a year on social welfare programs that waste a lot of money. While a Universal Basic Income would not be ideal, writes Zwolinski, it would save the average taxpayer money.  Zwolinski even points to Thomas Paine, who supported a “Citizen’s Dividend” that comes from taxing land.

The argument among progressives, and some libertarians, then seems to be “how much does everyone get?” and “what do we do with other welfare programs?”  In order for a UBI to be feasible, the current welfare structure would need to end, and that may be the biggest issue of contention moving forward.

Social Justice

Social Justice

Over the last 5 years, social justice issues have re-emerged as a hot button topic in US politics. Incidents like the violent Berkeley riots, and the embarrassment at Evergreen State College  show just how polarizing issues surrounding race, gender, and “privilege” can be. While groups like “Black Lives Matter” have encouraged other perceived disadvantaged groups to step up.  

Over the last two years we have seen the uproar caused by the North Carolina bathroom bill that put limits on who can use what bathroom (parts of which were repealed in March). The bill cost the city of Charlotte the NBA All-Star game last season, and emboldened companies and universities are refusing to do business in the state. As other state legislatures consider similar bills, it is likely that we will continue to see protests. 

Social justice issues are starting to make their way into more and more pieces of legislation.  Canada, for example, added “gender identity or expression” to the Canadian Human Rights Act, which means citizens can be prosecuted for expressing their displeasure of the LGBTQ community.  At home, Senate Bill 1006 would federally ban discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Taking away the autonomy of individual states, the senate bill would be redundant for those currently debating similar legislation, and would disrupt the states from acting in their own best interest, even if outsiders find it controversial.  While House Bill 1869, the “Paycheck Fairness Act” would eliminate pay differences for men and women, this bill is designed to “eliminate” the “wage gap”.

Rural America

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There was a time where Democrats had a solid hold on rural America. Rural America flocked to the polls to vote for democrats who cared about issues that would affect them; including trade issues, protecting social security, and workers rights.  These Democrats were more centrist, and understood their constituency.  Over the last decade democrats have been losing this vote at an alarming rate.

Representative  Collin Peterson, of MN, is a rurally elected Democrat who claims that the democratic party has become “too liberal. Focusing on urban areas and social issues at the cost of white america.

Peterson also explains that Republican gerrymandering efforts have helped “pack” democrats into urban districts. This means that even if the state may be evenly divided as far as party affiliation goes, redistricting efforts have helped one party gain an advantage over another.  With the Supreme Court agreeing to hear the Wisconsin gerrymandering case Gill v. Whitford, it’s possible that redistricting efforts will change the makeup of the congressional districts, forcing candidates to run a more centrist campaign.

In addition to that, rural america became wary of the democrats for focusing on issues they either don’t care about, or are uncomfortable with.  The Obama Administration did their part with the introduction of the “Trans-Pacific Partnership” which rural america felt would cost them their jobs. Democrats continued to alienate rural, white voters by focusing on social issues that don’t affect them, causing many in rural america to feel neglected.  It will be interesting to see if the party tries to continue down this path, or make a major adjustment prior to 2018. It will be equally interesting to see how the Republican’s try and take advantage of this ideological shift.