Reason and Passion

Overview

This lesson explores an important problem latent in majority rule. If the majority has the right to express the will of the people as a whole, it is important that its decisions be products of calm reason and not volatile passions. A democracy is just as capable as a monarchy of becoming tyrannical. Therefore the Founders designed the Constitution to enable the people as much as possible to make well-reasoned laws that are beneficial to the common good.

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Larry P. Arnn is the twelfth president of Hillsdale College, where he is also a professor of politics and history. He received his B.A. from Arkansas State University and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Government from the Claremont Graduate School.