The federal government utilizes a bicameral legislature. Membership in the House is proportional to population, so high-population states receive a high number of representatives. However, regardless of population, each state elects two senators, which ensures that high-population states don’t completely control the federal government.
Likewise, state governments originally employed bicameral legislatures that included one chamber where there was one member per county, so that residents who lived in small towns and rural areas had meaningful representation. Urban interests complained that members of these chambers represented “places not people,” which violated voting apportionment laws, but these members actually represented county governments, just as the U.S. Senate originally represented state governments. Without this type of legislative chamber, many states would be totally controlled by one or two large urban areas.
Eventually, urban interests brought lawsuits demanding that the membership in both chambers be proportional to population. In Reynolds v. Sims (1964), the Supreme Court held that membership in both chambers of state legislatures must be based primarily on population and the delicate balance of power collapsed.
For example, the state of Illinois eventually was replaced by the Chicago metropolitan area; aka Chicagoland. Likewise, the state of California became the SF-LA-SD Coastal Cartel.
Virtually all large urban areas are now governed by socialist political machines and their politically correct authoritarian ideology. In stark contrast, many small towns and rural areas still choose to live by traditional American values. Without a state legislative chamber whose membership isn’t proportional to population, small towns and rural areas have little power to protect their culture from the onslaught of urban socialism.
This lack of power is also why most of the economic benefits (spoils) that state governments can steer to political cronies go to large urban areas which has accelerated the pervasive decline of small towns and rural areas, that have scarcely been touched by the “recovery” since 2009, while most large urban areas have grown richer.
Neglected rural areas could regain a measure of sovereignty from large urban areas, that are ruling their states, by reconfiguring their senates so that each county elects one senator, or creating a new state, within their current boundaries, that excludes their large urban areas.
Both Illinois and California are well under way in their efforts to implement the second option. Unfortunately, success will require cooperation from their state government and Congress. The first option could be accomplished without any action by Congress, if their state legislature is willing to use the nullification process, but it’s difficult to believe that large urban areas will cooperate with either process and give up their current control of their states.
The only real hope may be a lawsuit that reverses Reynolds.
Tragically, Reynolds allowed large urban areas to gain control of many states and has made life in the hinterlands often seem hopeless. If nothing is done to restore the balance of power, many rural areas may relive the days of the Great Depression.