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Letter: Understanding how majority rule works

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Mike Vogel bemoans the fact that the majority doesn’t rule anymore in America [“How can you possibly call this majority rule?” Opinion, March 2]. He uses examples of how public policy doesn’t match public opinion on such subjects as the failed Amazon deal in Long Island City, climate change and gun control.

We never had majority rule in the United States and were not intended to by our founders. They actually feared majority rule, which some of them referred to it as the “tyranny of the majority.”

The word democracy appears in neither the Declaration of Independence nor the Constitution. Instead, we were founded as a republic that protects against the pitfalls of pure democracy. Vogel closes by saying that when majority opinion is dismissed, democracy is in danger.

I respond with the words of Chief Justice John Marshall who observed, “Between a balanced republic and a democracy, the difference is like that between order and chaos.”

Michael Cisek,

East Islip

  

Mike Vogel conveniently used hand-picked examples that favored his position.

The majority of Americans also are overwhelmingly against late-term and ninth-month abortion. A vast majority are also opposed to socialism and favor capitalism. A majority of Americans are opposed to illegal immigration and favor immigration that is lawful and would support an overhaul of the present insanity of catch and release.

Cherry picking his “majority rules” issues doesn’t ring well with the majority.

Francis Iannucci,

Fort Myers, Florida

  

Mike Vogel makes a very good point. There are some controversial issues in this country which polling shows a clear majority of about 70/30, yet those in the 30 percent are convinced they are the majority because they are louder. I’ve shown the polling to people who are in the 30 percent and they demand to know who was polled, because they live in areas where most people think the way they do, and know almost no one who is in the actual majority.

And, because that 30 percent is louder, Congress finds it easier to go along with the wishes of the 30 percent than to deal with their loud outrage if Congress did what the majority wants.

Karen Meyer Campbell,

Copiague

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