Letter: A silent majority is useless to democracy
Disbelief describes my initial reaction to national news these days. Despair swiftly follows. Contemporary developments graphically demonstrate that the reality will continue to worsen.
Numerous and diverse polls and studies evidence that most Americans agree in core areas affecting American life. Gun reforms, women’s reproductive rights, voting rights, election integrity, all manner of personal lifestyle choices. Whatever became of government of the people, by the people, for the people? This is as simple as the primary school civics lesson we were all taught. Majority rule is as fundamental to the American experiment as it gets.
To deny the will of the people is, plainly said, tyranny. To do so by the manipulation of a minority view is, simply, un-American.
This is not a tyranny by a privileged class, not by a ruthless despot (Russia), or a crooked authoritarian (Hungary). But a tyranny of the minority is still tyranny.
Edmund Burke warned us, “All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.” Two hundred fifty years later, we are seeing that forecast play out.
You may not feel the sting of these denials of majority rule where you live. And vote. But chances are they impact someone you know elsewhere in the country. Engage them and encourage them to voice their personalized Howard Beale outrage. “Silent majority” is useless to democracy.
“I’m a single-issue voter,” you say. To which I’d counter, the aforementioned news deluge seems to compellingly argue that, right now, the founding principle trumps the individual issue. No wonder we’re polarized. We’re Balkanized as voters.
If you’re young, refuse to stand for this abuse; if you’re old, don’t let your apathy sentence your young to suffer it. If a few hundred armed and deluded insurrectionists can come moments and meters from illegally derailing democracy, then millions of motivated Americans can shift its course using Constitutionally protected means.
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