The antidemocratic tendencies of rights appear to be numerous. As trumps, rights are denounced for shutting down political debate and undermining the common good. As disciplinary, rights are attacked for reinforcing a politics of exclusion. I argue that an appreciation of the democratic potential of rights requires conceiving of them as political claims, as claims that represent a perspective that we seek to persuade others to adopt and through which we can create and contest community and identity. I cull a political conception of rights from the work of John Stuart Mill by rethinking the meaning of and connection between his ontological commitments and his politics. Paying careful attention to his notion of “character” and its cultivation, I argue that Mill embraces a conception of the socially constituted subject who is both disciplined and enabled by rights.