Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The few don’t represent ‘the people’

Despite a claim to the contrary in the May 11 letter, “Flood of letters makes the answer clear on Central’s fate,” the “people” have not spoken about the fate of Duluth’s Central High property. A large number of letter writers have made their opinions known, but they are only a small minority of all the people of Duluth.

This is like saying the people have spoken because of a large turnout at a hearing on an ATV trail or on clean water.

This is worse than saying a politician won in a landslide with a turnout of less than 60 percent. Even if the vote for the politician was 60 percent, that means 64 percent of the voters either voted for someone else or didn’t make the effort to show up

At least in an election, all the people have the opportunity to show up. In a hearing or in letters to the editor, only a few [can] participate. The few, no matter the view, do not represent “the people.”

Letter to the Editor, published in the Duluth News Tribune, 2016-05-17

P. S.  I didn't think to include "the people have spoken" is about as bad as the "People's Republic of ..."