Another Political Bestiary, Ep. IV

The Gerrymander (2018). Acrylic on Paper. Artwork and text copyright Danny Grosso.

Continuing the expeditions of Jeff MacNelly, James Kilpatrick, and Eugene McCarthy, with apologies.

The Gerrymander

Part fanciful artistry and part killer calculation, the Gerrymander is a fluid, long-tailed and hump-backed beast, sometimes horned and toothsome, borne of the angry coupling of partisan victory and mercilessness. It fashions its lair by stealing away bits and pieces of its neighbors’ holdings until it has assembled a safe, homogeneous district to call home. It then sets about making rules for the manse designed to convince those unlikely to conform that they should remove themselves from the district. The ensuing exodus ingeniously insures the survival of the new rules by purging dissenting voices, thereby also guaranteeing the safety of the Gerrymander itself.

The Gerrymander is content to lie quietly in its misshapen habitat, and await its eventual demise that will come with a change of legislative majority. The lifespan of the species was once thought to be short, but is now clearly increasing. This is likely due to a recent change of climate that provides for the growth of a sheltering political canopy – one that may protect the Gerrymander from its traditional enemies, reform and sunlight.


-Danny Grosso 




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