“I absolutely think you can draw a line between voter suppression efforts and the gerrymandering efforts, and election results. We are seeing efforts to undermine the very core values of American democracy. Nothing is more fundamental in America than having the right to vote, and having the right to representation. And those two core values have been undermined by this new assault on democracy.”
Ari Berman, Journalist, Mother Jones.
Gerrymandering is one of several political practices sabotaging American democracy. For those unfamiliar, it takes quite a few words to describe the gerrymandering process in detail. Suffice it to say, the practice is an attempt—all too often successful—to control the outcomes of state and national elections. Both Republicans and Democrats practice this form of Dark Politics.
In Slay the Dragon directors Chris Durrance and Barak Goodman introduce the gerrymandering process, and focus on its recently refined use by Republicans which fostered a massive sea change in American politics—one which disenfranchised American voters, and enabled a far right-wing takeover of state and national politics.
Goodman and Durrance offer a ray of hope in their coverage of national gerrymandering issues—and in their focus on Wisconsin, Michigan, and North Carolina politics. They highlight initiatives to sabotage the saboteurs the most dramatic of which is the Voters Not Politicians movement created by one woman—Katie Fahey—who, in an epic struggle, brought an end to partisan gerrymandering in her home state of Michigan, and inspired voter activism beyond her state’s borders. Fahey grabbed a tiger by the tail, held on for dear life, and achieved her goal of reforming Michigan politics. Her story deserves a Hollywood narrative film treatment.
“It’s a fixed system. That’s what gerrymandering is all about. Congress would never, ever fix this problem—because they have one interest, and one interest only, this is to stay in power”
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Former Governor of California
A Magnolia Pictures release, Slay the Dragon is a must-see, inspiring documentary about our threatened democracy and those meeting this threat head-on. The film is set to open on VOD on April 3rd.
(Pictured: Katie Fahey)