It doesn’t take much for a two-party system to degenerate into one-party rule. The only question is how each party tries to achieve it. For Democrats, it’s majority rule. For Republicans, it’s minority rule. Either way, the goal is for one party to run the show for as long as possible.
How do Democrats hope to rule forever? By becoming a perpetual majority party. Their idea is to fundamentally alter the structure of American government so that effective opposition to the Democratic party is no longer possible.
First, expand voting to groups that are likely to vote Democratic, and ensure their loyalty by promising them free stuff. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has openly voiced support for lowering the voting age to 16. It doesn’t take a genius to see why. Young people tend to vote Democratic, favoring Biden over Trump by almost 2 to 1 in the 2020 election.
Democrats are also working diligently to make Washington, D.C., a state. Washington’s sole reason for existence is the federal government; virtually everyone there works for the government or depends on it. According to the Federal Election Commission’s data for the 2016 presidential election, the overwhelming majority of funds donated by federal employees went to Hilary Clinton. Just how overwhelming? 99% of the funds from Department of Justice employees, 99% of Department of State contributions, 94% from the IRS.
The implications of this are clear. Since Democrats are the party of government, DC statehood would give them two permanently Democratic senators.
The latest proposal to alter the number of Supreme Court justices, although nominally bipartisan, is clearly part of the Democratic majoritarian agenda. Instead of accepting the 6-3 conservative majority on the court as an unpleasant but inevitable occasional defeat in the political arena, they propose to add four justices, exactly the number needed to swing the pendulum back in their favor.
But are the Republicans better? Not really. They too seek one-party rule, they just do it through different means. Lacking interest in wooing independent voters that might enable them to become a majority party (witness their impotence in California), they choose intend to enshrine minority rule into law.
One way of doing this is, of course, to fight Democrats’ attempts to expand voting rights. That’s why every Republican-backed piece of legislation concerning the franchise is designed to make it harder. All in the name of fighting fraud, of course.
Worse still is the use of gerrymandering: The redrawing of Congressional districts in ways that result in disproportionate representation. As the Center for American Progress has documented, while gerrymandering is available to whichever party is in power, in practice it is much more likely to benefit Republicans. This is true at the federal and state levels.
Perhaps the most painful evidence of Republicans’ comfort with minority rule comes from who they elect. White males are about 35% of the U.S. population, yet 78% of the Republicans in the Senate and 85% of Republicans in the House are white men.
There are good reasons to reject the excesses of perpetual majority and perpetual minority rule. Perpetual majority rule quickly becomes mob rule, in which the rights of individuals to create and keep wealth, to worship as they choose, to think and peacefully live as they choose become suborned to the “will of the people.”
Perpetual minority rule is no less attractive. It can lead to special privileges for an elite few, contempt for the rule of law, and making a mockery of America’s promise of freedom and opportunity.
So what can be done?
We can hope that Democrats will eventually learn to restrain their majoritarian impulses and recognize the importance of individual rights. We can hope Republicans will aspire to become more than the party of Christian white men and start appealing to larger set of voters.
But until that happy day arrives, don’t let either of them get away with their plans. Vote each of them out of power every so often, just to keep them honest. America shouldn’t be a nation of unlimited majority rule or unlimited minority rule. Ultimately, we should be about self-rule.
Barry Fagin is senior fellow at the Independence Institute in Denver. Fagin’s views are his alone. Readers can contact him at email@example.com.