Bring back mindful thinkers like Shupe
It’s clear the “tyranny of the supermajority” op-ed written by Rep. Bryan Shupe has the Democrat Party machine in Delaware panicked. Not only is this evidenced by the responses from their supporters (at least three have been printed in this publication), but just this past week, their statewide communications sent out a fundraising letter to their entire statewide email list saying they could not ignore Shupe’s op-ed and that it was theatrical in nature. This overreaction to Shupe’s thoughtful look at the environment of Delaware’s political landscape and our state's future is why, in my view, we need more free-thinking members like him in the General Assembly. When you’re taking flak, you must be over the target.
If you take the time to examine Shupe’s comments on the dangers of potential supermajority rule, he explores in detail Lord Acton’s classic warning regarding absolute power corrupting absolutely. He goes on to say, “whether it be Democrats or Republicans, supermajorities in both legislative chambers would produce the same tragic result – an inability of minority party legislators to have any meaningful impact on public policy, disenfranchising hundreds of thousands of Delaware residents.” True enough.
It seems to me that Shupe is thinking beyond party politics. It's difficult to argue that in Shupe’s tenure, he hasn’t acted for the good of his constituents - and the default position of his objectors so far has been party politics only. Shupe never argues that elections do not have consequences or that majority rule is not desirable. He simply warns the voters that a supermajority will allow one party, with the benefits of growing and consolidating political power in mind, to change the Delaware Constitution without any opposition. That warning in itself has value, is true and quite probable based on the examples over the past three years in the General Assembly Shupe gave in his original op-ed. In my view, there’s increasingly a push by some members of the majority’s politician machine to impose legislation that they know - or strongly suspect - is extra-constitutional, into the Del. Code and dare anyone in opposition to find the will and the money to challenge it in the courts. Fortunately, this has been done a few times by citizens and organizations already over the last couple of years, and will become necessary again, I have no doubt.
If you are not following Shupe online, I recommend that you start. He is a small business owner, dedicated family man, and the kind of public servant The First State would do well to duplicate. Among other things, his focus is supporting our next generation, and helping them understand that education and perseverance will lead to independence and stronger communities.