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Why Apathy Is Winning

Earlier this week I went down to the Indiana Statehouse to speak out on redistricting. This was the third hearing I had attended in person and in each case the experience was the same. Every single member of the public who got up expressed serious concerns about the proposal. If there was the opportunity for the minority party to speak, they did the same thing.

But there were no delays, no compromises, and seemingly no interest in feedback. The vote was held on Friday and it followed party lines almost exactly.

As I said in person, this doesn’t feel like democracy. Watch for yourself:

Is it worth explaining the intricacies of why the district lines are unfair and why the process is less than transparent? Maybe. But chances are if you care about that kind of thing, I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know.

And if you don’t care about the details, it’s only yet-another-example of corruption in our government.

The result is apathy. Most people have decided that politicians are corrupt and there’s nothing they can do about it. The redistricting hearings show that government is broken: no matter what people said, the party in power drew maps that keep them in power.

(Maps they drew behind closed doors, released and voted on within two weeks, for which underlying technical data was not immediately made available—and which will define the next ten years of districts for the state.)

How do I plan to get people to care about politics?

I don’t. I plan to talk to them as people, and work to earn their trust as a person.

Because you can’t be apathetic if you trust someone. You’re focused on them being the person they promised to be.

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