According to Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), the idea the majority should rule in a country such as the United States is a direct threat to democracy.
In an interview with the New York Times, Paul was asked about the emerging strategy from the GOP which seems to suggest that there’s nothing wrong with preventing people from voting (especially if those people plan to vote for Democrats) because that’s what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they wrote the Constitution:
“The idea of democracy and majority rule really is what goes against our history and what the country stands for. The Jim Crow laws came out of democracy. That’s what you get when a majority ignores the rights of others.”
So the concept of one person one vote is suddenly analogous to Jim Crow laws? What Sen. Paul neglected to mention is that those laws were designed to discriminate against African-Americans, the very same people the GOP is now targeting in an attempt to keep them from casting a ballot.
In other words, Rand Paul just said the quiet part out loud.
As Chris Cilizza notes in an article he wrote for CNN.com, Paul has his concepts of democracy completely backwards:
“Democracy is not solely about majority rule. It is about the right of citizens to have a free and fair say about the way in which the country they live in is governed. That usually takes the form of representative democracy, like what we have in the United States — including one chamber where majority rules (the House) and one where any single Senator has the ability to slow or stop action on a particular policy, thanks to the filibuster.”
Also, the comparison to Jim Crow is sophomoric and actually undercuts the argument Paul is trying to make. After all, Jim Crow laws were intended to keep the minority (white people) power at the expense of the black majority that existed in the South due to the massive influx of people brought to the region to serve as slaves and provide a cheap labor force for plantation owners.
Republicans know that demographic changes in the United States are making the GOP irrelevant and in danger of becoming a permanent minority party. Since they’re unwilling to reach out to voters of color, the young, LGBT Americans, and other groups who comprise a large section of the Democratic majority, more and more traditionally red states are desperately trying to cling to power by disenfranchising any voters who won’t support them.
The greatest threat to American democracy isn’t in the will of the majority rule. It’s the willingness of Republicans to shred the Constitution in a pathetic effort to remain relevant.
Featured Image Via NBC News