Doug Young: Colorado’s political atlas shrugged

Atlas Shrugged, Part 1
Starring Taylor Schilling, Grant Bowler,
Matthew Marsden, Michael Lerner
Directed by Paul Johansson

Dear Colorado, 

Given our familiarity with your state (much of our story takes place there), and as it appears that there’s an ongoing struggle to craft and pass a map to reflect the new congressional district lines, Atlas Shrugged, Part 1 (the first part of a planned filmed trilogy of Ayn Rand’s novel) hereby submits its own map (which appears below) to assist in your process.

We call our map “ASP1.”  

We understand that in Colorado, the legislative process typically constitutes “round 1” of this redistricting effort with future “rounds” looming in state (round 2) and federal (round 3) courts (hence the Part 1 in our map’s title). And, this is also why, like with redistricting, people will likely not know how this turns out until the unfolding of parts 2 and 3 (uh, that is unless you’ve read the book or studied past redistricting efforts).
To help avoid partisan conflicts, our map was drawn using “objectivism” criteria. These criteria are based on our political philosophy that a new map: (1) is an eventual objective reality, (2) will be perceived by all Coloradans irrespective of their subjective perceptions and political persuasions, (3) respects an individual’s right to vote for whomever he or she wishes in the new districts, and (4) will increase the happiness and rational self interest of whomever happens to win the seats based on this new map in the next election. We also believe that this map will create competitive districts — indeed, that’s the basis of our very platform.
We ask that ASP1 be given all the consideration it deserves. To that end, we expect that, like the film upon which it is based, there will be endless, stilted, opinionated discussions in boardrooms, offices, restaurants, and hearing rooms about the map’s utility and view of reality — that is, how it came to be, the difficulties it will encounter, and the struggles to see it surmount those obstacles. We also understand that, like most redistricting maps, our map will likely be trashed by critics and potentially garner little support.

District Number and Description

1 The Colorado canyon free of governmental taxation and red-tape where John Galt is rumored to be hiding out with his group of elites until the nation again recognizes the contributions of people like John Galt whose innovations are the basis for economic prosperity
2 The rail locations where some of Atlas Shrugged, Part 1 was filmed and that represent the railroad enterprise that is the basis of the struggles in the film to highlight the deleterious effect of governmental intrusion on individual freedoms to accumulate wealth and power (which makes this an especially challenging area to represent as many see rail transit as antithetical to a capitalistic system free of governmental subsidies and managerial directives, rules and restrictions)
3 The area where grapes and hops are grown and processed into wine and other alcoholic beverages that are consumed in great quantities in Atlas Shrugged, Part 1 by governmental officials who devise sinister schemes to control private enterprise and force successful businesses to share the wealth with those less prosperous and creative, and by the titans of industry who endlessly bemoan governmental meddling of — and interference with — private enterprise and innovation 

4 The area that bafflingly stands in for the Wisconsin countryside when the characters in Atlas Shrugged, Part 1 take a road trip to that state to investigate the governmental thwarting of a new renewable engine technology that magically uses air as a fuel source
5 The area where vast deposits of oil and gas could be present that could be miraculously tapped without any environmental or community impacts to promote economic development by enterprising companies if only the government would let them
6 The area where an impossibly high-speed rail line is constructed that whisks people up the steep and winding Colorado mountain corridor west of Denver using super-special steel that can only be built by a private enterprise due to the obstacles thrown up by the public sector
7 The area representing a steel plant that makes the super-special, super-gripping train track rail that allows trains to attain high speeds in steep mountainous terrain and represents what can be accomplished through hard work and individual achievement if it weren’t for governmental intervention that forces the company to adhere to policies that constrain innovation and require it to spread the benefits of this achievement to others who may not be deserving
8 The area that represents those who believe that there is a role for governmental policies to address social needs that are not necessarily provided for by free market capitalism