Rand Paul offers an accidentally useful Jim Crow analogy in rationalizing his party’s illiberal shift

Jim Crow laws — laws instantiating public racial segregation and, importantly, curtailing the voting power of Black Americans — were, in fact, reflections of the rule of the majority. But that “majority” was not itself a reflection of the actual population, given the extent to which Blacks were excluded from participation. That’s not to say that universal Black participation in voting in the Jim Crow South would have given them a majority, but it almost certainly would have reshaped power dynamics. Which, of course, was why Black voting was discouraged.

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