Walter E. Williams

 One reader criticized, "The essence of democracy is that the will of the majority conveys legitimacy to actions of the state." That's a sad commentary on both understanding and education. The Founders didn't intend for us to be a democracy but instead a republic. But more importantly, majority rule often confers an aura of legitimacy to acts that would otherwise be deemed tyranny. Let's look at it:

 Consider a few everyday decisions such as: whom we marry, what food we eat, where we live and what clothes we wear. How many of us would want majority rule to determine those decisions. For example, your family would like ham for Thanksgiving dinner and vacations in Mexico, but you're prevented from doing so because the majority of Americans decided on turkey for Thanksgiving and vacations in Canada. Were decisions actually made this way, most of us would agree that we'd be living in a state of tyranny.

 Of course these particular decisions aren't made through a majority rule political process, but they do illustrate that there's nothing sacrosanct about majority rule; it can be just another form of tyranny. It's just as tyrannical for majority rule to determine other choices such as: retirement (Social Security), prescription drugs, health care and other unconstitutional uses of a person's earnings.

 When the democratic process reigns in matters of constitutionally enumerated federal government matters, we have the liberty that the Framers envisioned -- anywhere else it most likely means tyranny.


Walter E. Williams

Dr. Williams serves on the faculty of George Mason University as John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics and is the author of 'Race and Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed on Discrimination?' and 'Up from the Projects: An Autobiography.'
 
TOWNHALL DAILY: Be the first to read Walter Williams' column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com daily lineup delivered each morning to your inbox.