Let me say publicly that DonBoy’s answer exudes a combination of intuitive genius and confidence that make me think DonBoy is going to do big things in his life. -- Steven D. Levitt (Freakonomics blog)
Sunday, November 07, 2004
Tyranny of the Majority Hypocrisy Watch

I was remembering how, after the election of 2000 was settled, we were hearing a lot from the right about the beauty of the Electoral College system, and how it is our bulwark against the Tyranny of the Majority (henceforth, TOTM). There's of course plenty to be said on the EC -- I have -- and in a context that's more expansive than "whose ox is gored"; but in light of the Red State triumphalism of the past few days, I thought it might be nice to revisit our old friends in the anti-TOTM and see how they're feeling now, and do a compare-and-contrast -- since the current line from the right is that 51% of the electorate has a right, nay, a duty, to crush the other side, preferably with their hard boot.

Which is how I found this, from Walter E. Williams at WorldNetDaily, under the headline Majority rule equals tyranny, November 22, 2000:
Despite public consensus, there's nothing inherently just or fair about majority rule. In fact, one of the primary dangers of majority rule is that it confers an aura of legitimacy and respectability on acts that would otherwise be deemed tyrannical. Ask yourself what day-to-day decisions would you like to be decided by majority rule? What about where you live, for whom you work, what kind of car you drive, what clothing you wear, what woman you marry?

You say, "Williams, those decisions are nobody else's business but mine. What's more, those are issues that don't belong in the political arena anyway!" You're right. Plus, we'd all agree that it would be nothing short of tyranny if where you could live and whom you could marry was decided by majority rule.

Mr. Williams' most recent column is dated this past Wednesday, and does not address the election results; I imagine his deadline was too early. I eagerly await his next piece, though.

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