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Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The Mystique of Democracy

My letter to the editor was published December 11 in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette:
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette is more propagandist than objective news source when it reports that “North Little Rock voters approved a two-year, 1-percent city sales tax Aug. 9 to pay for the [new Travelers] ballpark. . . .”

Unless the vote was unanimous, this sentence is misleading. What it should have said is that some voters who want a new ballpark voted to force others who do not want it to help pay for it anyway.

Voting results are never reported this way because it would reveal democracy to be mob rule rather than a system that respects individual rights and freedom. It has been said that democracy is based on a strange arithmetic: 50 percent plus one equals 100 percent, while 50 percent minus one equals zero. Is this what we want to give the rest of the world? And why can’t baseball stadiums be left to the private marketplace?

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