On last night’s HBO’s Last Week Tonight, host John Oliver saved his main argument for the practice of gerrymandering.
He explained the mechanics of how politicians carve up voting districts within states for the most optimal voter results to benefit whichever party draws up the lines.
Crazy right? Oliver noted during his presentation that British lawmakers were brought over by one politician to examine our political system and were completely horrified by this method named for a past Massachusetts’ Governor named Elbridge Gerry.
Oliver laid out the history of how this entire system of redrawing districts came to be.
Oliver painstakingly argued how the system of gerrymandering dilutes and diverts democratic process. This system of gerrymandering is responsible for providing Republicans a distinct advantage in the House of Representatives, even though Democrats were voted for in bigger numbers in recent congressional elections.
Oliver noted: “In a democracy, the question of who gets to draw the map should not have as much significance as it currently does.”
He added: While independent commissions might not be perfect, they would definitely be better and the truth is it is hard to come up with a worse system than the one most states currently have. And there is something very important at stake here, lawmakers should not be allowed to dilute our [American] votes by drawing their own lines and essentially picking their own voters.”
The segment ended with a motley crew of assorted Americans, from Juggalos to “everybody’s racist grandma” as Oliver said: “Election results should not be the result of politicians’ crazy lines. They should be the result of our own crazy decisions.”
Oliver is in good company, with California’s former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger posting a video blog last month on the same subject.
Schwarzenegger on gerrymandering
Oliver also engaged in an epic takedown of Bill O’Reilly and president Donald J. Trump’s tone-deaf defense of the Fox newsman, who is currently embroiled in some messy sexual harassment payoffs.
To drive home how repulsive O’Reilly appears to the public, Oliver delighted in playing recordings of the skin-crawling fiction as the audiobook of O’Reilly’s narrated sex scenes from his novel, Those Who Trespass, which were indicative of the less than appealing sex that O’Reilly could imagine, real or fantasized.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver airs Sundays at 11:00 PM ET/PT on HBO