What follows are possible explanations as to why George W. Bush was elected and then re-elected in 2004. It is also a further testament to the idea that we need an independent judiciary to save our country, minorities, and democracy from a tyranny of the (ignorant) majority.
We should all be aware of this information:
"Most of the time, only bare majorities know which party has control of the Senate, some 70% cannot name either of their state's senators, and the vast majority cannot name any congressional candidate in their district at the height of a campaign."
"Overall, close to one-third of Americans can be categorized as 'know-nothings' almost completely ignorant of relevant political information."
"Particularly significant is the fact that, on many issues, the majority is not only ignorant of the truth but actively misinformed." For instance, in the 2004 election, majorities of voters did not know that Congress passed a major Medicare bill, a ban on partial birth abortion, or the Patriot Act. Most continued to believe that there is a link between Saddam Hussein and 9-11 despite repeated Bush Administration claims to the contrary.
"Voters are ignorant not just about specific policy issues but also about the basic structure of government and how it operates."
While I strongly believe that all citizens should be able to vote, I will continue to maintain that we need an independent judiciary that is not dependent on the will of the majority. For all of the above reasons, this (largely ignorant) majority should never determine what my, or anyone else's, civil rights are. Remember these facts the next time you hear someone whining about an "activist" judge overturning the rule of the majority or going against the "will of the people." Because while everyone has their own sense of what is icky and wrong, the decisions of so-called activist judges who protect the rights of minorities are the ones who are truly promoting and sustaining democracy.