The way congressional districts are drawn (link to your district map here [somehow .gov seems to have "lost" that page, so use the Wayback Machine copy]) raises the very serious specter that gerrymandering may thwart the will of the people.
The way districts are drawn can change everything, and even the courts have struggled with how to deal with gerrymandering [it got lost, so Wayback Machine copy].
The reason that gerrymandering is wrong is because it is anti-voter, to the point that even when the voters overwhelmingly favor a particular outcome, they can be thwarted by gerrymandering.
In other words, the geographical design of the districts is such that it thwarts, and is contrary to, the will of the people at large. It is designed to preserve incumbency and thwart the political notion of accountability.
Furthermore, districts are carved out in strange shapes that result in districts passing through many counties, instead of being defined and bounded by one or more counties.
Thus, malfunctioning electronic voting machines in one county may actually mean malfunctioning in several congressional districts even though only one county is involved. Congressional districts can pass through multiple counties, and each of those counties can theoretically and legally have a different way of doing an election. That is, different voting machines and balloting methods.
Multiple lawsuits or election challenges may be required to challenge bad election results. This intimidates fair elections, because only big money can hire an army of lawyers to fight that kind of unfairness.
We have a dictatorial situation any time the will of the people is thwarted by their government. There is no other name for it.
Some dictatorships are less vile than others, but calling a spade a spade is what I am talking about.
We have a dictatorship if the people cannot express their will by their vote, because the other side of that coin is that they are being dictated too, i.e., told who will be elected and when.
If the government allows us to vote but that vote is meaningless, the fact is that it is a dictatorship masking as democracy, because the people cannot change the government to suit their will.
One of the unique aspects of American government is that there is a part of that governmental process which is not intended to change easily, but instead is intended to remain stable or static.
That unchanging aspect of American government is in stark contrast with the part that is intended to change regularly.
It may be easier to distinguish the characteristics by recalling that the regular changes are intended to apply to people in office, but what is not intended to change are the inalienable rights of the people in the US Constitution as amended.
For example, we don't vote on whether or not freedom of speech or religion stay as our law from election to election. We decided that a long time ago and need not revisit those issues.
In fact the "americanness" or lack thereof of an idea, position, policy, or platform can quickly be discerned by asking if that idea, position, or policy tends to keep certain people in government, i.e. incumbent for a long time, or whether instead that idea, position, or policy keeps long held inalienable rights of the people written in the Constitution incumbent and long lasting.
The American way is that the people come first and that politicians come second. This is not an anti-politician sentiment, it is a wisdom of the ages that our forefathers gave us.
They understood that power tends to corrupt politicians because they become immersed in power. Thus, the people must regularly decide how long a politician stays in office by discerning how power has effected that politician.
Some politicians learn how to neutralize the corrupting influence of power and some do not. We vote the latter out and thereby cleanse our government as needed. Regularly.
For instance gerrymandering (designed to perpetuate incumbency) is contrary to the people's inalienable right to vote office holders out of office, and is contrary, therefore, to the American sentiment.
The next post in this series is here.