Majority Rules (the Tyranny of the Majority) / by kevin murray

How many times have you heard in one way or another, the "majority rules"?  The statement that the majority rules is not especially profound, since a larger number is always greater than a lesser number and a majority is by definition the larger number.  I suppose in politics there may be some debate as to whether it is even that the majority rules, since in some contests a plurality is good enough to win the election, but the basic concept remains the same.  Additionally, offhand and on the surface, it appears fair in most situations that a majority should rule, since it often doesn't make any sense that the minority should win, when it has lost in the number of votes or in the public arena.


The problem with the majority ruling is that this concept must take into account, that there is an absolute arbiter of law and morals that supersedes the majority, or even the minority, and that is our natural rights, our inalienable rights, given to us by God.  That is to say, that if a particular community should simply vote that it is okay to lynch certain peoples within their community and consequently enact a law that validates this position, this law is inherently a violation of that particular individual's right to life and liberty which supersede the State's power to take away this inalienable right from the individual.


It is critical for all Americans to recognize, that the power of the State, comes from the consent of the governed, and furthermore that under no circumstances should the State ever be allowed or permitted to take away the basic human rights that each of us are born with, and consequently that some things within a given nation are not subject to the rules of the majority and never will be.


Furthermore, I am not necessarily a supporter of the "winner take all" format of American politics, to which a particular candidate or position may be the desire of the majority, but when the result is especially close, it leads to the conclusion that when 50.1% of the population supports one thing, that the other 49.9% don't deserve a say at all.  That hardly seems fair as the 49.9% do deserve to have a voice at the table, irrespective as to whether they "won" the contest or not.


The other aspect of majority rules that is highly disturbing is that a majority run amuck is a majority that will do significant damage to its own population and will effectively be acting as its own totalitarian State.  The concept of the majority ruling can easily morph into a mob ruling the country without any concerns or compassion for those that are its dissenters.  In fact, the tyranny of the majority actually encourages the majority to treat the losers in such a way as to neutralize or to marginalize them even more, so that the majority's power can aggrandize to their own benefit.


While the majority ruling has its place in our democratic State, under certain circumscribed situations, it must also be diligently monitored to verify that it is not infringing upon the natural rights granted to us by our Creator.