The kind of “majority rule” rhetoric that President Barack Obama espouses is the same kind of thinking that produced Jim Crow laws, according to Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY).
Appearing Thursday on Fox’s “On The Record With Greta Van Susteren,” Paul
was asked about what Van Susteren called the President’s “I won [the election] so I think on that one I trump you” mentality.
“Well, you know the danger to majority rule, to him sort of thinking, ‘Well, the majority voted for me now I’m the majority, I can do whatever I want and that there are no rules that restrain me’ — that’s what gave us Jim Crow,” Paul responded. “That’s what gave us the internment of the Japanese.”
“That the majority said ‘You don’t have individual rights and individual rights don’t come from your creator and they’re not guaranteed by the Constitution, it’s just whatever the majority wants,'” he added. “There’s a real danger to that viewpoint, but it’s consistent with progressive viewpoints. It’s been going on for a hundred years. Progressives believe in majority rule, not constitutional rule. They don’t believe that rights are inherent to the individual. They think your rights are whatever the government says they are, whatever the majority says.”
Paul has a history of alluding to Jim Crow laws to make his points. The Tea Party favorite caused a stir in 2010 when he said he opposed a part of the 1964 Civil Rights Act that bans discrimination by private businesses. He eventually walked that comment back by saying he would have voted for the landmark legislation.
He also told a radio station in his home state that comparing recently enacted voter ID laws to Jim Crow did a disservice to icons of the civil rights movement.
Watch below, courtesy of Fox News:
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at email@example.com.