Even if there were fifteen million Muslim Brothers in Egypt, though, James Madison would still support including their voices in Egypt’s noisy political system. The most spectacular thing about democracy is not that it heeds to the will of the majority—something that is true of any bar fight—but that it tolerates the peaceful participation of the minority, no matter how unattractive their speech.

Justin D. Martin is a journalism professor at Northwestern University in Qatar. Follow him on Twitter: @Justin_D_Martin