From Jonah Goldberg’s new book:
Perhaps the Constitution’s most important contribution is its most prosaic quality: It’s written down and very hard to change. Being written down for all to read gives ownership to everyone and creates what economists call “path dependence” for how political disputes are resolved. It reminds us that our fundamental laws are outside the authority of men. It creates the space necessary for institutional pluralism to flourish. The fact that the Constitution is hard to change— a great frustration to passionate political movements of every stripe— automatically confers deep democratic legitimacy to any successful alterations and provides assurance that we will not sacrifice some fundamental liberty in the heat of a given moment. We may, in such moments, ignore the Constitution, but it sits there, outside the time and space of any political moment, as a national conscience, reminding us that such transgressions must be rectified.
Goldberg, Jonah. Suicide of the West: How the Rebirth of Tribalism, Populism, Nationalism, and Identity Politics is Destroying American Democracy (Kindle Locations 2808-2814). The Crown Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.