Okay, I’ve spent more than my fair share of time bashing the Worldnutdaily and their columnists; it’s only fair that I offer praise when they get something right, and this column by Walter Williams is spot on. He correctly points out that not only are democracy and liberty not synonymous, they are often in direct conflict. He also correctly points out the numerous roadblocks to democratic rule that were placed in the Constitution, and the valid fear they had of majoritarian tyranny:
In Federalist Paper No. 10, James Madison wrote, “Measures are too often decided, not according to the rules of justice and the rights of the minor party, but by the superior force of an interested and overbearing majority.” That’s another way of saying that 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. Liberty and democracy are not synonymous and could actually be opposites.