Tyranny for Me, Tyranny for Thee

Chronicle business writer Chris Tomlinson is opposed to freedom. In a recent column, he opined that those who don’t like a law need only “hire a friend in Austin”–a state legislator. Tomlinson then goes on to point out several examples of businesses lobbying state legislators to override local ordinances or rewrite state laws.

As one example, Tomlinson states that after Houston and Austin enacted “common-sense safety regulations” for Uber and Lyft, the companies lobbied lawmakers to prohibit cities from regulating ride-sharing companies. Local taxi companies, Tomlinson lamented, “will conveniently remain under the yoke of local tyranny.”

Tomlinson isn’t complaining about the local tyrannies that regulate taxi companies. He is complaining that Uber and Lyft have escaped those regulatory tyrannies. Rather than call for more freedom for taxi companies, he calls for less freedom for Uber and Lyft.

Consider further that Tomlinson calls the regulations enacted in Houston and Austin “common-sense.” Apparently, he believes that tyranny is a matter of common-sense.

Tomlinson does not like the fact that the state legislature has taken some baby steps towards protecting individual freedom. He wants the “will of the people” to rule supreme, even when it violates individual rights.

The “will of the people” is nothing more than a tyranny of the masses. It means that the majority may do anything it pleases simply because it is the majority. Justice, truth, and rights are to be swept aside in deference to the passions of the mob.

Uber and Lyft deserve credit for fighting to protect their rights. Chris Tomlinson deserves to be condemned for supporting tyranny.

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