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Opinion | What if We Let Majoritarian Democracy Take Root?


However, there was a majority vote to protect the interests of voters in the South. But that vote – the vote to pass the Federal Election Bill of 1890which would have empowered the national government to oversee elections in former Confederate states – failed to pass a Senate test.

We cannot know how American history would unfold without our anti-political autocracies. But the example of Reconstruction and its aftermath shows that if the majority could act, unchallenged, to protect the rights of black Americans, it could instead be less tragic than a little more than what we’ve been through.

It is an insight that we can apply to the present. Not a majority of countries threaten the right to vote or bodily autonomy or want to deprive transgender Americans of the right to exist in civil society (on the last point, 64% of Americans, according to the Pew Research Center, which supports laws or policies that “protect transgender people from discrimination in employment, housing, and public spaces”). If that belonged to the majority of Americans – and if, more importantly, the American political system easily allowed the majority to express its will – then Congress strengthened the Voting Rights Act, codifying make abortion rights into law and protect the civil rights of LGBTQ Americans. Even the legislative victories that most Americans rightly admire – like the Civil Rights Act of 1964 – were only possible with a large number of legislators rallying after a general assassination attempt. system.

If it had a majority of the country, American democracy would most likely be in a stronger position, especially since Donald Trump may not have become president. Even so, our folk beliefs about the American government, the over-praised railings, and incessantly invoked rules of our political system have failed to secure our democracy. us as much as they have facilitated the efforts of those who degrade and destroy it.

The rule of the majority is far from perfect, but the rule of a narrow-minded, reactionary minority – which we face in the absence of serious political reform – is much worse. And much of our fear about the largely, legacy of a founding generation that sought to curb the power of ordinary people, is unfounded. Not only is the rule of majority, as Abraham Lincoln put it, “the sole true sovereignty of a free people”; it is also the sole sovereign that has worked reliably to protect those people from hierarchical expropriation and exploitation.

If totalitarian democracy, even at its most shackled, is a better defense against tyranny and abuse than our authoritarian institutions, imagine we could evaluate What if we let totalitarian democracy really take root in this country. Owners’ freedom may be affected. On the other hand, the freedom of ordinary people can flourish.

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