Ross: Is King County the GOP’s nemesis?
As Danny Westneat pointed out in The Seattle Times this week, once again, it was King County that spoiled Republican chances to pick up a Senate seat.
And I’ve heard that a lot over the years, the lament that “if it wasn’t for King County, we would have won easily” – the implication being that it’s unfair that a conservative candidate has to find a way to appeal to all those King County liberals.
And when you look at the Washington map divided into red and blue counties, it DOES seem unfair. The Red looks like it could swallow the Blue in one gulp.
And when you look at a map of the WHOLE COUNTRY divided into red and blue counties – yikes! You wonder how there could be any Democrats in Congress at all!
But the problem with maps like that is they only make sense if land … could vote.
It’s only in the U.S. Senate that land can vote. For example, Washington State has more people than the states of Wyoming, Vermont, Alaska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Delaware, Rhode Island, and Montana COMBINED. But collectively, those eight states get 16 senators, and we get TWO.
THAT’s what’s unfair.
King County tipping elections – is completely fair. Because in general elections, it’s PEOPLE that vote, not land. And King County has the most people.
It dominates Washington politics because it should. For the same reason, it takes longer to stop a freight train than a Mini Cooper. It’s bigger.
And while we’re at it – let’s take a look at this idea that liberal politics has made King County a terrible place to live. If that’s true, why does it keep growing?
It is NOT cheap to live here. Who spends that kind of money to live in a terrible place? No one. Because it’s not a terrible place.
I think some of the anger is because this place is TOO attractive, which has pushed prices so high that people who once COULD afford to live here no longer can.
But – conservatives should be the last group to complain about that – because that’s how markets work: demand pushes prices up.
Bottom line – it’s not some fundamental unfairness that requires politicians to appeal to King County if they want to get elected – it’s the way the system is designed.
And the beautiful part is that we have freedom of movement in this country so that people can vote with their feet as well as with their ballots.
Many of them do – which is why Snohomish and Pierce Counties are ALSO growing. And if that continues – politicians will have to kowtow to THEM someday – as they should.
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