Politics and government

Discussion: Analyze the effects of the historical, social, political, economic, and cultural forces on
politics and government.

For this discussion, we will consider how gerrymandering currently affects Texas politics, and
how gerrymandering has been used historically in Texas politics. Gerrymandering is a political strategy
to redraw Congressional districts in a way that engineers the outcomes of elections to favor one party or
another.

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Understand that the main intent of these discussions is to hold a dialogue. Kindly begin work on
this discussion well in advance of the deadline to insure that your classmates are afforded ample time to
respond to your posts. Waiting until the last minute to complete this assignment will allow your
classmates less time to interact with you and may defeat the purpose of the assignment.

To prepare for writing your discussion post and responses, follow these steps:

1. For a background to gerrymandering, reference course materials and watch this video that
presents an overview on how legislators stay in power as a result of legislative redistricting:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1s6erd5MbEY
2. Next, go to the Texas Tribune website that shows the new voting maps based on the 2020
Census, and type in your address to view any changes between the 2010 and 2020 voting maps:

https://apps.texastribune.org/features/2021/texas-redistricting-map/ (Links to an external site.)

• Consider how demographic changes like race, ethnicity, or partisanship influence voting and election
outcomes.
• Think about political motivations for making these particular changes between the 2010 and 2020
maps.

3. In a concise (250-300 words) post, answer the following questions utilizing course materials,
concepts, and the information above:

• How will the demographic and geographical changes between your 2010 and 2020 voting district
change political outcomes for elections? How does gerrymandering affect you or voters in the
district?

• How do historical, social, political, economic, and cultural forces in Texas manifest in the
legislature’s and parties’ use of gerrymandering? Consider Texas’s political cultures, dominant
ideologies, partisanship, and social or demographic changes in this answer.

4. After you have submitted your post, respond in 100-150 words to TWO posts from your peers
and offer a thoughtful response to what you have read.

• You can respond either to fellow students’ primary post or to their response to your primary post.

• Use course materials and concepts in your answers, too, to help you formulate your thoughts.

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