The assaults on our democracy go on, with the passage of restricting voting laws going through Republican-dominated state legislatures, including Pennsylvania. I commend the Democrats of the Texas legislature, who exiled themselves to Washington to prevent a quorum from voting on the voting-restriction bills. (https://www.texastribune.org/2021/07/12/texas-democrats-voting-bill-quorum/)
Governor Greg Abbot has threatened to arrest these legislators if they come back to the state; but they’re national heroes, and I commend them. This was a bold action, and we must take bold action to stand for the essential right to vote; take that vote away, and we lose all the others. This is what the late, great John Lewis, congress-member from Georgia and one of the heroes of the Civil-Rights struggle meant when he said, “Get into good trouble, necessary trouble, and help redeem the soul of America.” (https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/john-lewis-quotes/?template=next)
The idea against popularly-based democracy in this nation has a long history-the idea that a minority must have veto power over the majority. During the drafting of the Constitution in 1797-in Philadelphia-southern states know that, as they were an agricultural society, and the northern states were more heavily populated, any popular vote would turn against them, and the northern states could end up voting against the slavery system, while-this was the real danger to the slave system-slaves could united with poor white and overturn the dominance of the planter class-and the planter class tried to model itself on the noble classes of Europe, which still dominated their societies-but their dominance was starting to slip away.
John C. Calhoun of South Carolina, one of the great statesmen of the period between the war of 1812 and just before the Civil War-one of the “Great Triumvirate” alongside of Henry Clay and Daniel Webster. Calhoun, in his posthumous book Disquisition of Government, promoted the idea of “concurrent majorities.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concurrent_majority) This is the idea that a majority of interests groups in a nation, and not the majority of the population as a whole, vote on an issue to approve it. This idea was used during the Nullification Crisis of 1832-1833, when he was against the Tariff of 1828, the “Tariff of Abominations.” Calhoun used the idea of Concurrent Majorities to make any federal tariff not apply in South Carolina if the legislature did not approve of it. (https://www.ushistory.org/us/24c.asp)
The opposition to democracy, once skimming around the fringe of our politics with lip service to “democracy,” is crawling out of the political woodwork and into the political mainstream. Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) said of this country “We’re not a democracy,” and later, ““Democracy isn’t the objective; liberty, peace, and prospefity (sic) are. We want the human condition to flourish. Rank democracy can thwart that.” (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-lee-democracy/democracy-isnt-the-objective-republican-u-s-senator-draws-democrats-ire-idUSKBN26T2YX
And again, from Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky): “The idea of democracy and majority rule really is what goes against our history and what the country stands for,” and “The Jim Crow laws came out of democracy. That’s what you get when the majority ignores the rights of others.” (https://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/rand-paul-latest-gop-question-democracy-majority-rule-n1270697)
(I’m dating myself here: I remember the administration of Richard Nixon, when, as he expanded the Viet Nam War into Cambodia, he asked for support from the “vast silent majority” of Americans. The Republicans right has always used the argument of “We’re the majority of Americans, and we don’t care about your issues” as a way of evading the problems of racial discrimination, LGBTQ oppression, the environment, etc. they’re for the majority when it’s convenient for them, but they know now they’re becoming less and less a majority.)
Ruling elites have tried, and still try, to find some rationale for negating or vetoing any popular effort for social reform. This is the idea behind the shit-ass “fiction” and “philosophy” of Ayn Rand: The Superior Man-always a man to Rand-is a billionaire resisting his “inferiors” in telling him how he should run his business, no matter what damage he does to his workers, the local community, or the environment; and he, the Superior Man, presents himself as the person being oppressed. (It’s an old story, of a once-dominant group passing itself off as an “oppressed minority.”) Race and ethnicity enter into this mix, and further “scientific” excuse could be formulated to justify further social inequality affecting all of the lower classes, of all races and ethnicities.
From what we have seen in the past several decades, from Reagan through the t—p takeover of the Republican Party, corporate moguls and their political serfs, left by themselves, do NOT have the interests of the American public at heart; by indulging them like a bratty kids they are (I have ZERO respect for them), they have turned the federal treasury into their own personal piggy bank to tap into when their “free market” turns sour on them, as with the S&L bailout of 1990 to the Federal reserve’s loans to the mortgage companies after the 2008 Crash-and the general public, us working and low-income people, and still struggling with food, mortgage payments, and medical bills.
Let’s stop falling for the bullshit! We must and will come together and make our elected officials know our grievances are real and our cause is just. Along with that, we will continue to educate ourselves on the issues, formulate solutions, and communicate our beliefs. The ruling elites portray working and low-income people as racist, ignorant, and only interested in the hottest video games; let’s give them one rude awakening.
Stay safe, stay strong, and stay together! America will be free! Bye!