Kevin Williams writes in National Review, On the Dangers of Democracy:


Before the poetical Thomas Jefferson put his quill in it, the language of the Lockean trinity was clear enough: life, liberty, and property. The right of property is of course always and everywhere a necessary but not insufficient condition for the flourishing of genuine liberty, which is a different thing from genuine democracy. Democracy despises property when it does not envy it and envies it when it does not despise it, and hence Senator Bernie Sanders et al. extol democracy in their war on property, which is a war on liberty, its sometime synonym. Property creates and sustains independent centers of action and makes possible the emergence of men and women of genuinely independent mind and action who are not easily coerced into the obligatory conforming heterodoxies that go along with salaried employment and dependence upon some corporation or another in the private or public sector. That was true of rich men such as George Washington and of poor men such as Mohandas Gandhi. Property provides the wall protecting the circle of private life, the independent sphere of life from which the state and its agents may be criticized and opposed.

The American constitutional order assumes property. It accommodates democracy as a procedural convenience and as a contribution to the “balanced” form of government described by John Adams, one in which popular enthusiasms are taken into account but constrained by the anti-democratic features of the government. Those include the Senate and the presidency, which in theory were to function (but do not) as a kind of republican aristocracy and monarchy braking the engine of democracy, as well as by belt-and-suspenders constitutional restraints on the scope and ambitions of the national government, those being a doctrine of “enumerated powers” that tells the national government what it may do and an explicit Bill of Rights telling it what it may not do. On top of that are the elements of civil society, including a press and churches that are constitutionally protected from political domination, and a population that is difficult to dominate because it cannot be silenced, dispossessed, or disarmed so long as the Bill of Rights stands. Those who fear rising authoritarianism in the United States — and they are right to fear it — may be fixated on Trump and his servile party but must also turn their attention to the other side of the aisle. It is the Democratic party, not the Republican party, that has attempted to gut the Bill of Rights, not only the Second Amendment but the First Amendment as well, which Senate Democrats voted to effectively repeal under Harry Reid’s leadership. It is progressives who promise to “democratic the workplace” and use employment as a weapon of political coercion, as they have at firms ranging from Google to various entertainment and news-media properties. And their antipathy toward property is remorseless, not only among confessing socialists such as Senator Sanders and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez but also among more moderate-seeming figures such as Elizabeth Warren, who proposes to nationalize American corporations and dictate to them the composition of their boards and their terms of corporate governance, among other intrusions.