-by Danny Goldberg
“Abortion will be on the ballot in November” insist Biden, Pelosi and Schumer but that isn’t necessarily true, and a lot of voters know it. For example, unless the filibuster is abolished, abortion rights in America won’t be affected by the mid-terms no matter how well Democratic candidates do.
America needs leaders with the ability to command national attention who will speak for the majority of Democrats and the majority of Americans, those who will speak for MAJORITY RULE a concept concise enough to fit on the proverbial bumper sticker.
Besides the fact that majority rule is the only path away from a further decline of American democracy there is an added incentive for Type A politicians. Whoever champions majority rule most effectively will become the front-runner for the Democratic nomination for president in 2024.
Of course, the phrase alone is not enough. It has to be coupled with explicit support for:
1. Abolishing the filibuster. Senators representing 21% of the population do not have the moral right to impose their views on the other 79%.
2. DC statehood. It is indefensible that 700,000 Americans who live in the nation’s capital are not represented in Congress while the 581,00 people who live in Wyoming have two Senators.
3. Expanding the Supreme Court so that a majority of judges are appointed by Presidents who won the popular vote.
4. Replacing the Electoral college with popular vote in presidential elections. (This one will take a little longer to actualize than the first three which only require a simple majority of both houses of Congress and a president’s signature, but if the concept of America being a democracy is not going to become a joke, the electoral college has to go.)
5. Prohibiting partisan gerrymandering.
Lest civil libertarians have any doubts-- the principal of majority rule does not erase the concept of minority rights. Minorities should have all the freedoms explicitly and implicitly enumerated in the Bill of Rights and they deserve unalloyed human respect. After all, everyone is a part of a minority at one time or another.
But minorities should not have the power to make rules for the majority. The American government has become so distorted that majority opinion has been unable to prevail on issues from gun control to prescription drug prices to abortion rights. The views of more than 60% of the public have been repeatedly thwarted in deference to self-interest of oligarchs and minority religions.
Nor does the principal of majority rule fall into the category of Bernie/Hillary kinds of arguments. People of good will can and will disagree about all sorts of economic and foreign policy issues. Democrats are a coalition party, and they need to keep the coalition together which means compromises between the center and the left.
But there is no morally defensible compromise about majority rule. In the current fight against fascism, knee-jerk institutionalism and traditionalism, no matter how well intentioned, are suicidal anachronisms. Majority Rule. Majority Rule. Majority Rule!