What’s the Matter With Delaware?

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


Last week, the Indian government announced that it would move to split the southern state of Andhra Pradesh in two, caving to the demands of a local politician who “vowed to starve himself to death if India didn’t redraw the map.” Shortly thereafter, similar movements sprang up across the country, all demanding statehood for their particular ethnic region. As one Indian commentator fretted, “Now people will think all you have to do is fast and you can get your own state.” Somewhere, Joe Lieberman is taking notes.

It’s all kind of a mess, but it raises a great question: Why don’t we do the same thing? Take any major contemporary policy issue (climate change, health care, or, why not, farm subsidies) and odds are that the ability to address it is hindered by the fact that the US Senate, as Matthew Yglesias has noted, is incredibly unrepresentative of the nation as a whole. All you need to do is pick up a map: There are two Dakotas and just one California; there’s a Delaware and a Rhode Island but no Washington, DC (at least in Congress). Simply put, we need better states.

So what changes would you make to the map? Have at it in the comments. And to get your creative juices flowing, here’s Jonathan Chait’s epic takedown of the state of Delaware.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate