Perhaps I exaggerate. But not by that much. It's more like, a relative handful of zipcodes to rule them all, and in the darkness bind them.
That's the idea behind Michael Lind's interesting article:
The real divide isn’t between red states and blue states or cities and rural areas. It’s between mega-rich political donors and everyone else.
The article is quite lengthy, but most of it is absorbed in a largely academic speculation on the possibilities for adding, combining, and subtracting States from the Union. However, Lind's overall point is that, as long as there's still one country, none of that matters much, if at all. Not the numbers of senators, not where they come from. None of that matters because the money that controls the politicians--binds them in the land of Mordor, if you will--will still come from the same relative handful of zipcodes. Voters will vote for the rhetoric that they like, but the politicians they elect will largely follow the will of their donors--most of whom don't even live in the same states as the politicians.
Lind begins by briefly conjuring up the recurrent debates in American life about reconfiguring the shape of our Union for political purposes. But then he gets down to brass tacks--who really rules America and where they live:
Would any of these changes make much difference in American politics, all other things remaining equal? Probably not. If you look at a county map of national election results, it is clear that for the most part there are only blue big cities and college towns in a sea of red that includes working-class outer suburbs and many small towns. This is not a “rural-urban” divide, since the red-blue Republican-Democrat divide increasingly occurs within metropolitan areas, with the Democrats getting the well-to-do neighborhoods and the Republicans the less affluent ones.
Also, contrary to public perception, “urban” and “minority” are not synonyms. Most Black and Hispanic Americans are not poor and do not live in inner cities. Most are working class and live in the suburbs and exurbs where most white working-class Americans live. While majorities of Blacks and Latinos vote for Democrats, in this and previous elections we have seen a growing percentage vote like most working-class whites for the Republicans. Immigrants clustered in big cities can be expected to follow a similar trend, as they or their descendants move to the suburbs and assimilate. Meanwhile, the Democratic Party is gentrifying and getting whiter and more upscale.
The donors to American politicians in all 50 states are concentrated in a few ZIP codes. ...
A former Democratic senator from the Midwest told me a few years back why he got out of politics: “I got tired of the fundraising. They [the Democratic National Committee] give you a list of these rich people in New York, San Francisco, and L.A. No matter what state you’re from, you have to fly out there and grovel before them. They don’t know anything about your state or its people. All they care about is their pet issues.”
Who are these big donors? What are their pet issues? They're the Globalist elite--the Soroses and Gateses and their ilk, and we should have a pretty clear idea of their "pet issues." You see those pet issues peddled in the woke media, and the issues that they dislike get canceled.
And the donors have far more influence on public policy in America than the voters do. In a famous article in Perspectives on Politics in 2014 titled “Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens,” Martin Gilens of Princeton and Benjamin I. Page of Northwestern [concluded] "the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.”
That reminds me of Jeeves' famous characterization of Bertie Wooster: "By no means intelligent. Mentally he is negligible – quite negligible." I can imagine that that's about how most of us rate in the eyes of our masters.
The progressives who think that only the Electoral College and the malapportioned Senate are preventing the United States from adopting Swedish-style social democracy are living in a fool’s paradise. So are Republicans who think that the GOP answers to its voters, rather than its donors. Most big Democratic donors are neoliberals who do not want Medicare for All or strong labor unions and most big Republican donors are libertarians who do not want low-wage immigration or access by multinational corporations to cheap labor in China and elsewhere to be restricted. Most politicians follow the preferences of their donors, not their voters, ...
... to the extent our influence is limited to voting, most of us are just renters in American politics. The donors, wherever they happen to live, own it.
Possibly the Big Picture of What Happened In 2020 is that our masters got fed up with the shenanigans of us proles and told their paid lackeys in the political parties to just put a stop to it. No More Trump! If you need a pandemic to get the job done, we'll arrange that for you. Riots in all the cities--it's a deal. Just get the job done!