Thursday, August 26, 2010

Majority Cools

I'm going to try my best to be a little diplomatic when I drop this, but the time has come in our great national turmoil to say one thing that people tend to forget:

The majority doesn't always rule.
Now, I know, it does during elections and referendums and voting for Homecoming King and Queen
You know he hates that crown!

and even on the Supreme
Super Supremes
Court.  But not in everyday life.  

You'd need an attorney making a lot more per hour than I do to tell you the legal terms behind all this, but what I'm talking about is our basic human rights.  The majority of people might feel that 55 mph is just too slow to drive on the interstate, but try using that as a legal defense.  Go ahead.  I've seen worse.  I was in court once and saw a guy claim that he had to leave the scene of an accident he was involved in because he "suffered an act of involuntary defecation."  The judge thought that was a pretty crappy reason to split, and told the man so.

More examples: if six men working in an office or warehouse or wherever decide that the one woman who works there really needs to be a good sport about their off-color jokes, licentious photographs and leering sexual harassment, they cannot stand on "the majority rules!" and expect to continue that behavior.  And with good reason!  That's a perfect example of why the majority just does not always get to rule.

I've used this before but it's still valid.  Imagine being in a fifth-grade public school classroom full of a "majority" of Christian kids - nothing wrong with that - except that you happen to be a follower of Islam, or Baha'i Faith, or Judaism, or Atheism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism, Rastafarianism or Scientology.  Or the reverse, in which a Christian kid might suddenly find himself in a Shinto neighborhood.  There are 100 million adherents of Shintoism around the world - 75 to 90% of the population of Japan among them - and that's a lot of people.  Should the rights of any single person in a crowd be overtaken by the majority? In a public school, taxpayer-supported, the answer is no.  If you want prayer and religious education, that's certainly your right, so you can go to a private school for that.

How would it feel to be alone in the crowd with your principles, but be forced into another form of worship because "there's just one of you, and so many of us!"?

Majority rules when a bunch of friends are deciding which bad movie to see at the MultiPlex 17.  

It doesn't rule when the size of the crowd can be used to mash down one person, or several persons. 

And that's one of the many things I love about living here!  Every person a king, but no one person a ruler.

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