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Voter Suppression & the Destruction of Political Legitimacy

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One of the key questions explored by political philosophers like Hobbes and Locke was that of the foundation of legitimate political authority. When the 13 colonies revolted against the rule of the king, they also sought a foundation on which to ground political authority. While there are many ways to solve this problem, the founders of the United States elected to adopt a philosophy shaped heavily by John Locke. The basic idea is that legitimate political authority requires the consent of the governed and that the majority should rule. Being aware of what Mill later called the tyranny of the majority, the founders put in place constitutional protections against possible oppressive incursions by the majority (and the state). While these ideas appeal to me psychologically because of my upbringing, they also stand up well to philosophical scrutiny. As such, I accept that political legitimacy stems from the consent of the governed and that majority rule with proper protection against the. . .

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News source: A Philosopher's Blog

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