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.”
The left will mock you for making this obvious observation. Yet many progressives don’t seem to understand the distinction between united states and a united state. MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, for instance, recently took some heat from conservatives for claiming that the “weirdest thing about the electoral college is the fact that if it wasn’t specifically in the Constitution for the presidency, it would be unconstitutional.”
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.
One of these people is obviously Hayes. Otherwise, why frame reliance on the constitutional process—of all three branches, no less—as a “retreat?” If a person believes that “counter-majoritarian institutions” are a place to hide, it’s reasonable to conclude that he believes majoritarianism is the high moral ground; the best place to fight.
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 Collegebecomes 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.
Still, the majoritarian instinct has always been stronger on the left. At one point it was driven by important notions of self-determination. Today, the post-liberal left sees “democracy” as a way to steamroll the knuckle draggers in compliance.
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.”
Enduring notions about liberty and minority rights—due process, the right to free expression and self-defense, to name just a few—do nothing to inhibit technological, economic, or moral progress. The opposite, in fact. The history of the United States is proof.
These Lefties would do well to study what happened at Evergreen State (college).
You can only paint yourself into so-small a corner before you fall over and get covered in sticky wet paint.
Facts and knowledge are kryptonite to lefties.
Every its for the children policy of the left all dressed up in compassion and fairness eventually gets pushed into tyranny and destruction.
ADVANCE the human race? If left to Democrats, they would turn the entire nation into one, big, crap-covered San Francisco. Sure, there will be a period where the degenerating liberal enclaves can feed off the areas that were kept civilized by non-liberal infection, but that wouldn’t last long. Swamping the nation with homeless, illegal immigrants and doo-doo would be the result.
Weirdest thing about freedom of speech and freedom of the press is the fact that if it wasn’t specifically in the Constitution, it would be unconstitutional.
Weirdest thing about the right to keep and bear arms not being infringed upon is the fact that if it wasn’t specifically in the Constitution, it would be unconstitutional.
Weirdest thing about due process is the fact that if wasn’t specifically in the Constitution, it would be unconstitutional.
Where do these morons come from?
The Democrats want to replace the U.S. Constitution with various UN Treaties it was a American Traitor John Kerry who singed the Small Arms Control Treaty If these traitors cant keep their oath to Uphold,Protect and Defend the Constitution of the United States then they need to leave the Country and never return
Hannah Arendt notes that in a totalitarian state the state needs to establish a classless society. This is accomplished via propaganda and violence.Likewise, the ruling structure depends on mass support, again attained via propaganda and violence. Lying propaganda is dependent upon ignorance and stupidity, of which the masses have no lack off. For future reference, one needs to read her seminal work entitled The Origins of Totalitarianism. The current makeshift crisis arrangements developed my the left are methods of intimidation as a means to organize violence in mass that oppose their beliefs.