Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Zeldin was elected in our Tr*mp-leaning district by a collection of xenophobes afraid of our Latino immigrants, religious bigots afraid of our homosexuals, and rich people who just don't want any of their money spent on anybody who isn't them. Based on his voting record in the House, he needn't worry about being "primaried" from the right.
One might say Zeldin's supporters got what they wanted, but they're about to get something they won't like at all. Long Islanders pay seriously high state and local taxes, and Zeldin soon will vote to make those taxes non-deductible. Why? Because Zeldin's party loyalty is absolute. The people he "represents" don't matter.
Ours is a swing district, so if Democrats mount a competent campaign, Zeldin's vote on taxes ought to cost him his seat in 2018. Most congressional districts, though, are not swing districts: they are heavily gerrymandered "safe" districts whose "representatives" can safely ignore the needs of their voters. Only the deep-pocketed donors who dictate party policy positions must be satisfied.
Voters in very different districts have very different needs. If legislators were truly representative of those who send them to Washington, far more legislation would be the product of bargains, trade-offs, and compromise. Today's extreme partisanship is a clear indicator that our democracy is broken.