Saturday, September 26, 2009

A wothwhile look at the flaw of democracy.

I've been meaning to mention a piece I read by Jason Kuznicki, over at Postive Liberty. The unexpected rush of visits in the last week, and all the correspondence it created, meant I neglected to do so. So I wish to rectify my neglect immediately.

Jason noted a poll in Iowa about the impact of gay marriage in the state. It is rather remarkable because the poll, for the first time to my knowledge, asked people whether equal marriage rights had any impact on their life. Few did, 92% of the population said it had no impact on their lives whatsoever. Of the small percentage who said it had some impact, I would think many had to be gay people who were allowed to marry. In other words, gay marriage doesn't hurt anyone, at least 92% of the Iowans said it had zero impact on them so they couldn't have been hurt by it.

However, the population is evenly split when it comes to abolishing this thing, that virtually none of them say, hurts anyone. Jason notes that: "Democracy makes it trivially easy to interfere with the lives of others." He explains that the median voter "cant be expected to care much about the rights of minorities, because by definition the median voter doesn't ever belong to a minority." This means that "he will therefore be indifferent to the interests of the minority. This doesn't bode well for minority rights of any kind whenever such questions come up."

Jason warns that: "We're all in a minority sooner or later, and we will all face that coldly indifferent media voter who can't see what the fuss is about, and who views deciding on our rights as something very important, even as something sacred rather than as something repugnant and shamefuly. Maybe his sacred duty will tell him to take away our rights, and because it's called democracy, it's all good just the same. That is what's wrong with democracy."

I can't see anything to disagree with there.

I must confess it baffles me how people can think that marriage equality ought to be taken away from some people, while at the same time, saying it has no negative impact on their life whatsoever. If that is the case, then why bother and get so heated up about it? I can see why some people get heated up in favor of it, it dramatically changes their lives. But I simply can't see any rational reason to oppose it. But then, as I've said before: When there is no rational reason for something there is usually an irrational one. And it's usually religion.

And now, to explain the photo, a public congratulations to Jason and his partner Scott, who recently became parents. Jason and Scott, have apparently sworn off sleep for the next year or so and consigned themselves to perpetual worry from here on out. Here is Jason with daughter, Alice.

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