As you probably are aware, the British have a petition going to ban Donald Trump from entering the United Kingdom. Here’s a screenshot of it:
Under “More details”, the petition reads:
“The UK has banned entry to many individuals for hate speech. The same principles should apply to everyone who wishes to enter the UK.
If the United Kingdom is to continue applying the 'unacceptable behaviour' criteria to those who wish to enter its borders, it must be fairly applied to the rich as well as poor, and the weak as well as powerful.”
The first irony is that the country that helped give us the concept of “free speech” actually restricts speech if the dominant political elite deem it “hate”. The second is that by petitioning to prevent an individual from entering the United Kingdom for “unacceptable behavior”, it would indicate that there is a benefit for one group to keep out another individual or group. Freedom, it turns out, has its limits and borders controls are desired.
Furthermore, it pulls back the curtain on “universalism” or “multiculturalism” and exposes the fatal weakness of democracy. Obviously, there is “acceptable” and “unacceptable” behavior in the United Kingdom (UK). By having the distinction, there is no relative morality or true tolerance. The UK, and especially the people making and signing the petition, believe that there is a right and a wrong and that Trump has violated what is “right”.
Now, those “rights” and “wrongs” or “acceptable” and “unacceptable” behaviors may be admittedly subjective to the people pushing them – or not. Either way, they want to build and maintain a society and a nation upon certain ideals. So does everyone else. What is right to one might be wrong to another, the only way that it is decided is by majority rule. That is the fatal flaw of democracy.
Let’s say you live in a democratic society and you like how things are going. To keep the status quo, you are going to want to keep things as homogenous as possible. The reason being is that ultimately there is no law above the “will of the people” in a democracy. Demography and propaganda dictate nearly everything.
If you have your culture that is “tolerant” (at least based on your conceptions of it), you don’t want an individual like Trump getting in because you might find that he sways a large portion of the population to his views. If that group becomes the majority, then the “will of the people” reflects Trump’s views and everything changes. Indeed, the people may even take control and then reject democracy, giving power over to Trump. It has happened before in history.
The above, of course, ignores the exceedingly strong influences of things like race, ethnicity, and religion and both the spoken and unspoken loyalties that come along with them. If one group outbreeds another, and manages to keep its children loyal to it, eventually they will be in control of the democracy.
And so that brings us back to the petition and Donald Trump. What is the difference between either the petitioners or Trump? After all, both want to keep out those who they believe might shake up the status quo.