Democrats Continue To Turn On The Constitution
Sorry you’re offended, but we don’t live in a ‘democracy’
The state isn’t here to give you everything you want—not even if what you want is extraordinarily popular with your fellow Americans.
This is, no doubt, disorientating for voters who grew up believing they live in a “democracy.” In reality, our un-democratic constitutional bulwarks temper the vagaries of the majority. “Had every Athenian citizen been a Socrates,” James Madison quipped, “every Athenian assembly would still have been a mob.”
Of course, there’s nothing “weird” about diffused democratic institutions. There is nothing weird about arguing for federalism. These should be the foundation for every policy debate. Every governing institution in the country, to some degree, is counter-majoritarian. Quite often, the counter-majoritarianism is the entire point. Hayes is under the impression that “one man, one vote” means every ballot needs to be plugged into a direct democracy, which is absurd.
Hayes doubled down on “democracy” by arguing that “conservatism is a movement deeply paranoid and pessimistic about its own appeal, increasingly retreating behind counter-majoritarian institutions: the senate, the courts, the electoral college” and that it was “*deeply* revealing that the entire conservative movement gets #triggered if you say the simple truth about the electoral college.”
It’s not a simple truth, is it? For one thing, progressives increasingly view voting as the most sacred and determinative act of a citizen and see any counter-majoritarianism as unnatural and unfair.
Sadly, few will properly argue that people are increasingly “retreating” into majoritarianism—although, in a constitutional republic, that would be a proper political insult.
Of course, it’s also true many of these political grievances are situational. Liberals had no problems with anti-majoritarianism when courts concocted a right to an abortion. It is only a problem for them when courts protect free speech or gun rights or stop partisans from coercing Americans to join their groups.
It’s only when Democrats lose presidential elections that “fixing” the Electoral College becomes imperative. It’s only when the Supreme Court skews towards originalism that we have to figure out a better way to appropriate Senate seats or pack the courts…………
It’s no surprise, then, that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will openly grouse that “Republicans are now arguing that the US isn’t (& shouldn’t be) a democracy.” Ocasio-Cortez surely understands basic civics. She must know that a national “democracy” is far more likely to corrode the civil rights of individuals than are republican institutions. She must have learned that direct democracy encourages a mob mentality. Surely she understands that counter-majoritarian institutions, featured in every free nation, help restrain the worst impulses of partisanship and protect the nation from the whims of the electorate.
These are the reasons Ocasio-Cortez, and other progressives, supports majoritarianism. Without it, national socialistic projects like the Green New Deal can ever exist. They need a one-party system. Nothing relies more on emotionalism, scaremongering, and the “common impulse of passion” more than socialism.
One wishes Ocasio-Cortez took a more honest approach, like left-wing commentator Matthew Dowd, who recently came out against the Constitution (and Christianity, I guess?), arguing that “texts written 2000 years ago or 200 years ago should not control our ability to advance the human race and do what needs to be done in the 21st century to create a more enlightened community based in justice and compassion for all.”