Democracy & Constitution: No, Democracy Is Not 'the Objective'

One reason I left Twitter is that, on its political side at least, it is full of semi-literate outrage merchants who lack a solid grasp of reality or history and who dumb down our conversations at least as much as the president does. Here, sent to me by a friend (as I’ve learned, you can check out of Twitter any time you like, but you can never leave), is a nice example of the genre:

This is not a controversial statement from Mike Lee. Rather, it is an elementary restatement of the American system as understood by both sides. Lee is a conservative, but the point he is making is equally appreciated by progressives, who also consider that the Constitution restrains “rank democracy” in certain areas. I assume, for example, that Kasie Hunt believes that she is protected against government censorship irrespective of what a majority of voters, or of “democratically elected” Senators, think of the matter. And if she does believe that — if she doesn’t, she has some explaining to do — then she knows exactly what Lee is saying. Democracy is a tool, not an objective. It has many uses, and is almost always better than the alternative. Sometimes, though, in order for liberty and equality to flourish, it needs to be checked. It is a good thing, not a bad thing, that our elected representatives are aware of this.

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