Rand Paul: Democracy is a Terrible Thing

While it is easily inferred or assumed, Libertarians don’t ordinarily express their contempt for representative democracy as publicly as Rand Paul did last night during an interview on Fox News.

PAUL: “The danger to majority rule — to him sort of thinking, well, the majority voted for me, now I’m the majority, I can do whatever I want, and that there are no rules that restrain me — that’s what gave us Jim Crow. That’s what gave us the internment of the Japanese — that the majority said you don’t have individual rights, and individual rights don’t come from your creator, and they’re not guaranteed by the Constitution. It’s just whatever the majority wants.”

“There’s a real danger to that viewpoint, but it’s consistent with the progressive viewpoint. … Progressives believe in majority rule, not constitutional rule.”

This would be funny if it weren’t so wrong.

The great thing about the Constitution is it’s not nearly as pliable as Rand Paul would like it to be, and while he uses it in his strawman argument, it affirms the powers of the president and Congress to act as they have.

Furthermore, individual rights come from the Constitution, not “your creator.” The Constitution does not guarantee rights bestowed upon you by God. Quite the opposite. The Constitution says you have rights regardless of your religious beliefs or a lack thereof.

“Majority rule” is the stuff of representative Democracy and the Constitution. What we have seen in recent years; unprecedented obstruction of the majority by the minority; is an aberration. The filibuster of legislation which has the support of an overwhelming number of Americans is not democracy, but Rand Paul was certainly a party to it.

It’s not clear what Rand Paul’s idea of “constitution rule” is, but I can only infer that what Paul has in mind is far closer to authoritarianism than what he would have you believe we’re suffering under right now. I infer that Paul believes his interpretation of the Constitution is the one true interpretation.

Rand Paul may not be aware, but comparing the unmolested confirmation of judicial appointees to longstanding vacancies or the regulation of toxic chemicals to Jim Crow laws probably won’t endear you to African American voters or anyone else with even a shred of perspective.

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  • kscoyote

    Um. I’m pretty sure if slaves (in many cases the MAJORITY in MANY locales in the South) were allowed to vote – There would have been no slavery.

    -Which is why Jim Crow hated Majority Rule. It’s ALSO why Rand Paul and the rest of the Neo-Confederates that have taken over the Republican Party absolutely HATE Representative Democracy, and are pursuing Minority Rule through destruction of Voting Rights.

    • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

      You are correct. Although we don’t know precise numbers in all of the Confederate states we do know that in two states, slaves outnumbered the white population: South Carolina (57,000 more slaves) and Louisiana (21,000 more). Historians estimate that 3/4 of the white population owned no slaves at all. Taking the population numbers, subtracting 3/4 of the white people out and then comparing the slaves to owners, we’re talking a 5 to 1 ratio. That’s a serious advantage in numbers.

  • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

    Technically “majority rule” is only a part of our system and does not explain how it works, as you point out. True majority rule would be if 55% of the population voted for a candidate then that candidate wins and the other 45% goes unrepresented. And I don’t think anyone, anywhere does that. The Founders were indeed wary of the power of the majority and the vagaries of the masses…that’s why they added the Senate Chamber to balance out the power and dangers of the House, which is supposed to be more representative of the population. It’s also why we have the Electoral College, I believe.

    Paul is relying, once again, on the ignorance of his fans. Nothing new there, fer sure.

  • Ned F

    And did anyone in the room with him go “huh?”, or did they just nod sagely thinking “he’s so smart.”

  • GrafZeppelin127

    The problem with what this shitbird is saying, and with what a lot of “conservatives” and “libertarians” think, is that it’s not quite as simple or as black-and-white as they think, want and need it to be in order to validate their momentary grievances.

    Some things are subject to majority rule. Some things are not. The Constitution guides us, but does not always explicitly tell us, which is which.

    When I was in law school, learning about the law, I came to realize (and often say to others) that understanding the law makes the world a heck of a lot easier to sort out. One of the curses, though, that comes with understanding the law and “thinking like a lawyer” is when you hear so many people say so many things that are so wrong, and so indicative of (not to mention entirely dependent upon) a lack of understanding or a non-understanding of the law (including, but not limited to, Constitutional Law) that it becomes frustrating and infuriating just to hear it, not to mention to try explaining why it’s wrong to people who simply cannot, do not, and actively refuse to, get it.

    Some “libertarians” I’ve interacted with go so far as to completely dismiss the entire concept of law, or of Constitutional Law in particular, as inherently illegitimate prima facie, thereby relieving themselves of any responsibility for knowing, understanding, learning or thinking about it.

    Libertarians are nothing if not the heroes of their own private mythology. Their understanding of law begins with the phrase “I’m being forced,,,,” and ends with any of innumerable momentary grievances. They can’t discuss law, public policy or even the Constitution without using subjective-victimization language.

    I don’t know if it makes me more angry or sad.

    • incredulous72

      Graf, you had me at “shitbird.”

  • Username1016

    Well, I guess he meant the Declaration of Independence, but he’s still an idiot.

  • mrbrink

    “But James, or ‘‘Jimbo’ Crow Laws,” as he was raised to understand it, “are totally different from Jim Crow laws,” said Rand Paul.

    Rand Paul went on to say that “Rand Paul Law would respect your god-given right to be served raw milk and crushed up light bulb stew at the lunch counter as equally as your right to be denied service– and not because of the color of your character, but because of the content of your skin, as Republican Martin Luther King Jr. once said.”

    Rand Paul then showed off his ability to appeal to common sense solutions, jumping to the stage and shouting, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sic_semper_tyrannis“>Sic semper tyrannis!

    • muselet

      –alopecia

    • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

      Is it just me or is the person standing on the VA state seal look like they are holding a transvaginal wand? Maybe it should say sic semper vaginas instead. That would definitely fit right in with modern conservative thought.

      • mrbrink

        “Sic semper vaginas!”

        You win the internet.

        • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

          Cool, that’s a first for me! Did you get a chance to read the article on why AZ eliminated CPS….I wrote it…would love to hear your opinion

  • D_C_Wilson

    Randy Paul’s idea of constitutional rule: Rich white males make all the decisions based on their reading of the Bible.

  • Badgerite

    “That’s what gave us Jim Crowe.” No. That’s what gave us the Emancipation Proclamation.
    What gave us Japanese Internment was the attack on Pearl Harbor and if Rand Paul wants to be consistent on that score then he should ( and I am sure he won’t ) VOCALLY support the closing of the internment camp at Guantanamo and the disposition of any prisoners still held there through the legal system of the United States. The POTUS does. I’m pretty sure Rand Paul doesn’t.