Majority Rules Essay

Submitted By Z1764104Students
Words: 863
Pages: 4

Connor Johnson
Mr. Neumeyer
A.P. Government
20 January 2015
The Role of “Majority Rules” in American Politics When you think of a democracy, you generally think of a governmental system that has the core principle of “majority rules.” With a true democracy, a country is trying to protect minority’s rights while at the same time allowing the popular majority to rule. The concept of “majority rules” was established to organize the American government and decide public issues without taking away the basic rights and freedoms of minority groups. In 2000, California began its fight to keep marriage between opposite sex couples and passed Proposition 22 with 61% of the popular vote. Over the next 13 years, California courts fought diligently to overturn this and allow same-sex couples to marry in the state. Finally in 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court dismissed the appeal of Proposition 8 which allowed same-sex marriage therefore accepting the previous court’s ruling and ultimately allowing this in California. The role of “majority rules” is a very key arguing factor in this case and in simple terms, this kind of election was the right way to go in this scenario. If the United States wants to have a properly functioning democracy, individual rights may be honored, but only those licensed by the majority should be accepted. Minority rights may be listened to and strongly considered but if they are given full voice, the United States democracy will never function as it was intended to. In the case of Proposition 8, the state of California held a general election among the population of the state. This was the right course of action because with such a controversial issue, it needed to be ensured that the minority group that supported same-sex marriage didn’t have the controlling voice on the decision, a general election was fair to make sure that everyone had their say. According to Federalist 10, Madison would consider proponents of same-sex marriage a faction because they were a number of citizens, whether a majority or minority, who were united and activated "by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community." As Madison continued to explain, removing factions completely would be impossible but came to the conclusion that limiting their effects was the most that the United States government could do. Madison was not a large supporter of factions and in this case he may have sided with the “majority rules” ruling. Those people that are opposed to the “majority rules” view of democracy don’t like the idea of reliance on a person or combination of person’s viewpoints. They argue that any person or group of persons is not qualified to rule and that only those with ample qualifications should be able to suggest opinions to be decided on. As Lysander Spooner said, “a man is none the less a slave because he is allowed to choose a new master once in a term of years.” A true democracy is one that allows “majority rules” decisions and willingly takes in the interests of others. If the United States wants to claim that they run a democracy as their form of government, they need to realize that “majority rules” should remain sovereign in all cases. Individual viewpoints may be considered but the only ones that are acted upon must be voted on by the majority. The proponents of the majority rule form of democracy hold…