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Texas: Neutering Democracy


Texas: Neutering Democracy

David Morris

In Texas liberty trumps democracy. The Texas Supreme Court itself says so. In a recent decision, three of the five Justice majority bluntly declared. “(O)ur federal and state charters are not, contrary to popular belief, about ‘democracy’.” They are about “liberty’s primacy.”


There needs to be some nuance in the discussion of liberty versus democracy. No doubt, the framers of the US Constitution wanted to prevent the tyranny of the majority over the minority, thereby embracing liberty. On the other side of the argument should be the tyranny of (misplaced) liberty in the form of fracking, poorly sited high rises and slaughterhouses against the majority. The economic system in which we are ensnared allows externalities to permit the minority to tyrannize the majority in many cases. The apple cart must be overturned.


I had always thought the preamble had little, if any, force in law. It's the nice statements, mum and apple pie, waffles. But other than to indicate the purpose of the law, or document, isn't that important.

I'll ask my lawyer friend about that...

I seem to recall some war movies (wwii allied propaganda) that stressed that democracy and liberty were too intertwined to be able to separate them. I should have studied physics at university, then I'd be able to ignore history too.


Republicans cannot distinguish between liberty and license. They embrace licentiousness. Why bother having any laws at all as they do nothing but restrain our "liberty." What utter hogwash, and yet one more example of how republicans really are a mile wide at the mouth and an inch deep (and giving them an inch is a gross exaggeration).


"Just because we own land doesn’t mean we can build a 30-story building
or a slaughterhouse in an otherwise residential neighborhood."

I'm not sure if this statement is intended as wishful thinking or if the writer thinks it's true. It may be true in many places but not in, for example Houston which has had no zoning laws for many years possible has never had such.


Lincoln was afraid California would join the confederacy if he allowed secession, thereby unraveling manifest destiny, Murka's driving force since the 1820s.


The housing program is called Section 8. Last I heard it takes 8 years on Chicago's waiting list to get Sec 8. This program had 10,000 people show up to get on the waiting list in Atlanta a couple of years ago. Landlords don't like it because it requires them to maintain their properties to a livable level. Landlords Like it because it is guaranteed income. They don't have to worry about the renters losing their job and failing to pay. When the family gets a voucher they have 8 weeks to find adequate housing and set up an inspection or they lose the voucher and have to start all over.
The gun issue reminds me of the black Protester who walked up to the white Vigilante who was carrying an AK47 and said “What do you think would happen to me if I was carrying that?” And then there was the clamp down on guns when the Black Panthers began to open carry guns. I think that happened in California but suspect that Texas would have a problem with it also.
There is a reason for moderation in All things. Extreme actions produce extreme reactions. The stress and immaturity that is rampant in colleges and universities, especially during Finals, is extremely conducive to impulsive over reactions. Suicide and Murder are only thoughts until you add guns.