The Tyranny of the Majority

Does the “tyranny of the majority” exist?

Short answer, yes.

Every astute political thinker has realized this inherent problem with democracy. It’s why the founding generation warned against excessive democracy in government.

The Constitution was designed to be primarily anti-democratic.

The rule of the 50+1 percent allows a very slim majority to plunder the other half of the population, or worse.

Of course, those who preen about “moral righteousness” always seem to have the high ground. “Are you opposed to helping poor people? Are you racist? Do you want to put people back in chains?”

This kind of stupidity is commonplace on the American campaign trail, and it grabs headlines in the mainstream press who believe that tax payers–the minority of the population–want to enslave the majority or throw grandma off a cliff.

John C. Calhoun understood that a simple numerical majority would constantly plunder the minority and destroy any written Constitution.

It’s why he advocated for a “concurrent majority”, meaning that the minority could always have a veto. This would require real, super-majorities, for any legislation to pass.

Not a bad idea.

Judge Andrew Napolitano recently wrote about the Tyranny of the Majority, and his piece provided a great starting point for a discussion of the problem.

It resulted in Episode 758 of The Brion McClanahan Show.

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