Consider the Influence of one of the Least Politically Diverse Areas in the United States
The Need For Diversity
A lack of diversity leads to a lack of innovation. A lack of diversity leads to groupthink. A lack of diversity leads to stagnation. The need for diversifying systems, organizations, living spaces, in the areas of race, ethnicity, color, culture, gender, religion is an ongoing struggle. There is no doubt that diverse organizations that embrace the influence of all cultures, genders, religions, races, and ethnicities are stronger, innovative, and more adaptable to change.
Why Political Diversity?
Where there is no political diversity there is a danger for the citizens. A single party ruling a country unchecked can be authoritarian, suppress opposition, operate with a complete lack of transparency, indulge in corruption, and abuse human rights.
Historical and Current Single Party Countries
- Nazi Germany
- Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
- Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
- Republic of Cuba
- People’s Republic of China
The United States is strong because of the political diversity of thought and ideas. Multiple political parties ideally work together to strike deals that are adequate for the good of all citizens. The process involves give and take, always seeking what is good for the country. Various parts of the country tend to have populations that consistently vote for the same political party. These may remain stable for many generations later changing due to changing demographics or political platforms.
One of the Least Politically Diverse Areas in the U.S.
In one area of the United States, the majority of the people have voted for the same party every presidential election since it’s inception. The percentages of votes for the dominant party ranged from a low of 74.89% to a high of 90.86%. The percentage of votes for the opposing party has not been in double digits since the 1988 presidential election. The only comparable circumstances of such a consistent voting record were the post-civil war “Solid South,” southern states that consistently voted for segregationist Democrats. This was an American example of a political monopoly suppressing and stepping on the human rights of American citizens. Unlike the voters of the post-civil war south the voters of this area are very diverse.
The Area Is Relatively Racially And Ethnically Diverse:
- African American — 50.7%
- White — 34.8%
- Non-Hispanic White — 34.8%
- Hispanic or Latino — 9.1%
- Asian — 3.5%
The Area Is Diverse In The Extremes Of Income:
Highest Personal Income per capita in the United States — $50,832
Second Highest Poverty Rate in the United States — 19%, (Mississippi is the highest)
The Area in Question is Washington DC
Washington DC was created by the Residence Act on July 16, 1790, to house the capital of the United States. The area was designed to be under the exclusive jurisdiction of the U.S. Congress and not be a part of any state.
Until the passage of the 23rd Amendment in 1961residents could not vote in a presidential election. The amendment granted Washington DC three electoral votes. Since 1964 the residents of Washington DC have voted in 15 presidential elections. In every election, the electoral votes have gone to the Democratic candidate. The percentage of votes ranges from a low of 74.10% in 1972 for George McGovern to a high of 90.86% for Hillary Clinton. The last Republican to have a double-digit percentage of votes was George H. W. Bush in 1988. As of this writing, Washington DC again voted in the 90% range for the 2020 Democratic candidate. Official results are not yet available.
The Lack Of Political Diversity in a Geographic Area is not a Problem
How an area of the country consistently votes is not an issue unless the area is voting to suppress a minority population which was the case with the Southern Democrats. As noted there are areas that historically have voted the same way for generations and they may switch due to changing population demographics and political platforms. The District of Columbia has only been able to vote for a relatively brief span of time. The party affiliation in the district may indeed change in years to come. However, the issue with the lack of political diversity becomes apparent when it is looked at in the context of the largest employer in the area.
The Singularity Of Thought In the Federal Government
The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that Washington DC’s population was 705,749 as of July 2019.
District of Columbia Wage and Salary Employment by Industry and Place of Work 2017 notes that In December 2017, 25% of the employees in Washington, D.C., were employed by a federal governmental agency. This would equate to approximately 176,250 federal employees who live in Washington DC.
The federal government remains the largest single employer in the Washington metropolitan area. According to the District’s Office of Revenue Analysis as of November 2017, the federal government directly employed 364,000 people in the D.C. area. About 54 percent (196,560) of those jobs were in the District itself.
In 2017 there were approximately 196,560 federal jobs in the Washington DC area. These jobs were staffed by approximately 176,250 federal employees who also lived in the district. The voting record of the District would indicate that around 90% or 158,625 of the federal employees vote Democrat in presidential elections. It can be assumed that the 158,625 who can afford to live in the district work at upper levels of government and are not among the thousands of federal employees who maintain the grounds, buildings, serve the food, and maintain the infrastructure of the city and monuments.
If there are 158,625 federal employees who live in Washington DC and work at the 176,250 available federal jobs in the District this would indicate that over 80% of the workforce votes Democratic in presidential elections.
Over 90% of all citizens in Washington DC voted for a Democratic Presidential Candidate in 2016. The results for 2020 appear to be the same if not a little higher.
Approximately over 80% of the federal government jobs in Washington DC are staffed by citizens of Washington DC.
Cui bono? Who Benefits?
Do thoughts and beliefs determine political affiliation? Does political affiliation shape thoughts and beliefs? Should a government that represents citizens of all races, colors, ethnicities, genders, religions, ages, and political affiliations consist of employees of which over 80% vote for the same political party? Should political diversity be a consideration when hiring public servants who will be carrying out the administrative decisions of the United States Government?