CARMEL – Please allow me to give my Democrat brothers some inconvenient truths when it comes to politics in Indiana. Republicans hold every statewide elective office.  Republicans and Democrats are fully represented in these elections and yet the Republicans hold every office. Indiana Republicans hold super majorities in both the Senate (39-11) and House (71-29). Republicans hold 255 out of 273 county commissioner offices.  

Every county resident gets to vote in each of the commissioner elections and yet the GOP dominates with over 93% of the offices held. Republicans hold 22 more mayor seats than the Democrats and cities and towns are where Democrats are expected to be the strongest.

The most reasonable conclusion to draw from the above information is that Indiana is an overwhelmingly Republican state and that Republican lawmakers in both the Indiana House and Senate have nothing to apologize for as the final legislative maps were approved.  

As my Democratic friends liked to tell me after Obama was elected president and entered office with majorities in the United States House and Senate, “Elections have consequences.” Indiana elections over the past two cycles have indeed had consequences. The people of Indiana have spoken, they want Republicans making their laws and governing their state. In nobody’s bizarro world is it reasonable to expect a political party holding such a dominate position to go out of its way to give Democrats a better chance.There is no such thing as a political “Head Start” program.

My biggest beef with the entire reapportionment process is that the media seems to portray nefarious districting as a decidedly Republican affair. The fact is that legislative majorities of all stripes draw districts to try and benefit their party. There are a few states that have appointed commissions to draw districts but even that technique is subject to manipulation and interference.  

New York established a 10-member commission in 2014 with the professed hope that there would be less partisan gamesmanship in the process of district-drawing. At that time a GOP coalition controlled the state Senate. Democrat members of the commission declined to meet with Republicans before the deadline to come up with a consensus map. This forced Democrats and Republicans to publish their own maps.  

Now, with complete political power, the Democrats in Albany are showing their true political colors by blocking the funding of the bi-partisan commission. There will also be a constitutional amendment on the ballot this year that will reduce the influence of minority-party commissioners. Fairness, equity, blah, blah, blah.  Fugidaboutit!

Democrats in that bastion of liberal fairness state of Oregon decided to let a committee draw district lines and then House Speaker Tina Kotek (D) appointed two Democrats and one Republican to the two committees tasked with drawing congressional and state legislative districts. I am shocked I tell you!

If you research the topic of redistricting, you’ll find that Illinois and Maryland rank at the top of the heap for political hijinks. We’re not dealing with any virgins when it comes to this process and we should all face up to the reality that the drawing of congressional, state legislative and city council districts is a distinctly political process.  

The feigned shock and dismay demonstrated by the left-leaning media every 10 years is predictable and worthy of a chuckle. I suppose if Republicans ate our lunch every election and the Democrats drew the boundary lines, I’d be up in arms about it. Wait a minute. When Democrats controlled the Indiana House and Pat Bauer was speaker, didn’t Republicans win a majority of the votes cast in the election? Just asking for a friend.

There was a time here in the great old Hoosier State when Democrats held both United States Senate seats, the governor’s office, the House of Representatives and a majority of the mayor’s offices. In fact, in 1975, when I was working for Gov. Otis Bowen’s campaign, I looked at vote totals in each Indiana county.  In 1968, to my rapidly fading recollection, Republicans won only one county south of U.S. 40. Only in 1972 did some of those blue counties start to turn red. What happened? Did those nasty old Republicans hijack the elections?

In my opinion, the Democrat Party began a long-term glacial-like movement away from its voters in Indiana and in many other states. The party platform, legislation and professed views of its party leadership moved markedly to the left introducing escalating tax-and-spend policies, wildly out-of-control spending, weakened national defense and led the charge for the weakening of social moral standards. In short, the Democratic Party of today is not your grandfather’s Democrat Party. The inmates in the asylum held an election and the inmates won.

Please believe me when I tell you that I am under no illusion that Indiana Republicans flock to our party each election because we have all the good ideas or that we all wear white hats and the Democrats wear black hats. The Democrats who I know who have moved to the Republican Party became disenchanted over time with the lack of vision expressed by Democrat Party leadership. The principle of equal opportunity expressed by Republicans versus the principle of equal outcomes expressed by Democrats slowly moved many Hoosier Democrats into the Republican fold.  

If I was a Democrat, I would spend more time worrying about my core philosophies than I would about raising the straw man of gerrymandering every 10 years. Yes, Republicans will probably control Indiana for the next 10 years, but it will be because we are the party of ideas and not because we gamed the system. 

Dunn is the former chairman of the Howard County Republican Party.