After years of trying to “protect democracy” and “fortify democracy”, Democrats finally succeeded in Oregon where they banned Republicans from running for office.
That’s what the Democrat flavor of democracy looks like.
When the Tennessee House of Representatives temporarily expelled two Democrats who had taken part in an insurrection on its grounds, the media quickly turned it into a national story.
The move by the Republican majority was an “attack on democracy”.
But when the Democrat majority in Oregon banned half the Republican Senate delegation from running for reelection, that has been treated as a local story. And not an “attack on democracy”.
While much of Oregon is actually conservative, some urban and suburban populations tilt the state sharply leftward. Oregon’s conservatives, who have been otherwise shut out of the legislative process, have taken to protesting extreme bills by staging walkouts.
Using walkouts to break legislative quorums is not an unusual tactic. Democrats have done it in Texas, Indiana and Wisconsin. But when Democrats practice it, as they do in Texas, it’s cheered by the media. In 2021, for example, Texas Democrats staged a 38 day walkout to block election reform. Democrats welcomed them to D.C. and the media portrayed them as heroes.
“These folks are going to be remembered on the right side of history,” Senator Chuck Schumer had pontificated. “The governor and the Republican legislators will be remembered on the dark and wrong side of history.”
What’s the “right side of history” in Oregon where the Democrat majority is trying to ban Oregon State Senate Republicans from running for reelection because they broke Democrat quorums?
One of the reasons Republicans walked out was to stop a Democrat proposal to allow 14-year-old girls to get abortions without notifying their parents.
Oregon Senate Republicans had walked out for 43 days, as opposed to the Texas Democrat 38 day walkout. But when Democrats are in the minority, as in Texas or Tennessee, walkouts are heroic and democratic, but once they take the majority then they suppress democracy.
Oregon Dems, Bloomberg’s Everytown anti-gun group, Planned Parenthood, along with unions misrepresenting teachers, nurses and government employees, spent $2.53 million
pushing Measure 113 that would penalize Republicans for “unexcused absences”. Since the Democrat permanent majority’s leadership is responsible for deciding what is an “excused” or “unexcused” absence, Measure 113 was a partisan proposition financed by leftist billionaires and aimed at suppressing the political opposition of the rest of the state.
While the proposal to ban Republicans from running for office had $2.5 million behind it, the opposition had none. A fifth of the votes in favor came out of Multnomah County: the home of Portland. Put in charge of determining what Measure 113 actually meant were Democratic officials appointed by Democrat governors who were serving as Secretary of State and State Attorney General: who of course decided that it meant what their party wanted it to mean.
The proposed purge of much of the Republican State Senate delegation is a demonstration of what democracy looks like when it’s uncoupled from constitutional protections, free and fair elections, multiparty representation and even handed laws. And that’s why America was a republic, not a democracy. Majoritarian democracy was tried and rejected early on because it allowed a majority, like the one in Rhode Island that blocked the adoption of the Constitution in the state, to suspend basic rights, including trial by jury, as long as they have enough votes.
What’s happening in Oregon, much as in California and other states where Democrats have rigged the system for their benefit, is the nightmare of majoritarian democracy that the Founding Fathers warned against.
“When a majority is included in a faction, the form of popular government, on the other hand, enables it to sacrifice to its ruling passion or interest both the public good and the rights of other citizens. To secure the public good and private rights against the danger of such a faction, and at the same time to preserve the spirit and the form of popular government, is then the great object to which our inquiries are directed,” James Madison argued in Federalist No. 10.
The Constitution was meant to keep “the majority” from being “unable to concert and carry into effect schemes of oppression.” In a “pure democracy”, there would be “nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party or an obnoxious individual”, that is why Madison and the Founders opted for a Republic to protect the minority against the tyranny of the majority.
James Madison, the Father of the Constitution, launched an “attack on democracy”. Oregon shows why he was right to do so. Given enough leverage, democracy will mean eliminating the political opposition. Whether it’s Oregon’s Measure 113 or Biden’s open borders, democracy turns rights into a numbers game. If one political party finds enough voters and money, the end result is a dictatorship even if it is accompanied by the annual rituals of electioneering.
Any resistance is suppressed with escalating ruthlessness as the majority, freed from any of the restraints of competitive elections, grows more extreme and abusive with every session.
Oregon Senate Republicans are battling the Democrat majority in court. At the heart of their court battle is the question of whether a majority can simply eliminate political dissent.
America is not a democracy: it’s a republic. Democracies are tribal: Republics are transcendent. Oregon shows what a democracy looks like: a dozen wolves voting to eat half a dozen sheep. That was not what the Founding Fathers wanted and democratic tyrannies with drop boxes are as Madison warned, “incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.”
When Biden and fellow Democrats warn about “attacks on democracy”, what they really mean are limitations on their unchecked power. Their idea of democracy isn’t choice but, as in Oregon, eliminating choice by criminalizing the political opposition. The best hope for the future of America is the defeat of majoritarian democracy and the return of the Republic.