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.