Tocqueville's Tyranny Of The Majority

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The last presidential election will most likely go down in history as one of

the most fascinating events of the last 100 years. Because the election had

issues in it that revolved around the majority of voters, and what was the

will of the majority of voters, the political theories of Alexis de Tocqueville were brought up in many discussions. Tocqueville's famous theory of "The Tyranny of the Majority  is often quoted by both Democratic and Republican parties; and always to their advantage. Tocqueville did for Democratic government, what Aristotle did for drama (Dean). Tocqueville's Democracy in America has become a standard text for understanding how this country, and government works.

Tocqueville said that three principles were necessary for Democracy; equality of conditions, sovereignty of the people and public opinion. He stated that public opinion drives democracy. It is the ideas, and opinions of the citizens

that gives the sovereignty of the electorate it's meaning. Even though public

opinion is vital to democracy, it can be the cause of Tyranny also. The theory

of the Tyranny of the Majority, suggests that in a democracy, those who have

the majority opinion may seek to control the minority. It creates a paradox

because; the power of the majority is needed to sustain a democracy. This can be dangerous because the majority could become overbearing, and tyrannical. Equal rights can undermine democracy, and form a dictatorship. Tocqueville felt that only a series of checks and balances could protect a democracy from the

The American people learned a lot from the last Presidential Election. The first being, that there are enough checks and balances in our democratic system to prevent a national crisis; like freedom and equality of all people to vote which allows them to voice their opinion. The last election was a test of our ... Continue Reading