|Source: The Economist- Tyranny of The Majority|
What is this is really about is democracy and there several different forms of democracy which I'm going to explain here. And if you're familiar with this blog and my writing, you know that we believe in the liberal form of democracy which is liberal democracy which is what we advocate and I'm going to talk about here as well.
|Source: The Federalist Papers- One of the first Liberals|
|Source: Fact Myth- Our Founding Liberals|
According to Wikipedia
"Liberal democracy is a liberal political ideology and a form of government in which representative democracy operates under the principles of classical liberalism. Also called western democracy, it is characterised by elections between multiple distinct political parties, a separation of powers into different branches of government, the rule of law in everyday life as part of an open society, and the equal protection of human rights, civil rights, civil liberties and political freedoms for all people. To define the system in practice, liberal democracies often draw upon a constitution, either formally written or uncodified, to delineate the powers of government and enshrine the social contract. After a period of sustained expansion throughout the 20th century, liberal democracy became the predominant political system in the world."
So when someone is talking about the tyranny of the majority, they're saying that lets say in a majoritarian democracy where majority vote always rules or in a social democracy with similar outcomes where a lot of policy decisions are made through referendum, what they mean by tyranny of the majority is that the majority getting to rule over the minority and be able to make decisions on their behalf simply because they have more votes than the minority.
Anyone with a basic social studies understanding of American government and our Constitution that you could get at any quality high school in this country, knows that the majority doesn't always get their way.
Look at the U.S. Senate where you almost always 60-100 votes to pass anything, or our constitutional amendment process, where you need 2/3 majority from both the House and Senate in Congress, as well as 34-50 states to approve any constitutional amendment. Or the U.S. Supreme Court that throws out laws that were passed with a majority because they're unconstitutional. Or our Electoral College where big states don't get to rule over smaller states in the presidential election simply because their states are bigger.
In a liberal democracy, of course we have the right to vote, but we have so many other individual rights as well both personal as well as economic. We own or rent our homes instead of government deciding where we live. Law enforcement needs a warrant in order to enter our homes and property.
Our right to free speech, the right to practice or not practice religion, equal rights and justice under law.
The right not to be discriminated against and denied access in society simply because of our race, ethnicity, gender, or religion.
The right to make our own personal decisions and choices which is protected by our 4th Amendment.
These are just some of the examples of what makes up a liberal democracy and why I'm a Liberal Democrat ideologically, because I believe in liberal democracy. The right to be left alone and live freely in society. Along with other great liberal values like free press, rule of law, checks and balances, separation of powers, federalism, and limited government.
|Source: Academy of Ideas: John Stuart Mill- On Liberty- One of the first Liberals|