Speed Reads

Democracy in 2021

Rand Paul says the idea of majority rule 'goes against' American democracy

As Democrats warn of an ongoing assault on democracy and some Republicans continue to downplay the effects of the Jan. 6 Capitol riots and former President Donald Trump's stolen-election rhetoric, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has seemingly dismissed it all — even racist 20th-century Jim Crow laws — as just a side effect of the democratic system. 

Paul "[embraces] the notion" that minority party pushback is the "essence" of America's representative democracy, "distinguishing it from direct democracy, where the majority rules and is free to trample the rights of the minority unimpeded," per a The New York Times article published Monday.

The "idea" of democracy and majority rule is what "goes against" American's history and values, claimed Paul. "The Jim Crow laws came out of democracy. That's what you get when a majority ignores the rights of others," he added, seemingly redefining the pillars of democracy himself, and likening Republican pushback on a Democratic agenda to Black Americans' fight for civil rights.

Democrats and their allies reportedly reject such arguments, claiming the country's authoritarian concerns can be traced directly back to Republicans and Trump. Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) likens GOP comments to "pleading for mercy as an orphan after you killed both your parents."

Read more at the Times.