From Jonah Goldberg at The Dispatch, Rites About Rites
Let’s start with the subject of Jim Crow. Extending voting rights to blacks in the South was important, morally necessary, and just. But Jim Crow didn’t end in the South because blacks got the vote. A full 10 years before the Voting Rights Act 1964 was passed, the Supreme Court—not exactly a very democratic institution—ruled that racial segregation in schools was unconstitutional in Brown v. Board of Education. More to the point, in at least some Southern states, if segregation had been put up for a vote it would have been sustained by a majority of the voters—even if blacks could vote. The process of desegregation began at gunpoint by federal troops enforcing the Supreme Court’s rulings.
There is nothing inherent to democratic theory that says the people can be counted upon to vote in favor of sustaining their rights, never mind the rights of other people. That’s why the Constitution protects our rights from democracy. The Bill of Rights explicitly makes it hard for government to infringe on our rights because our rights are considered prior to or above the whims of the voters. In a pure democracy, 50.1 percent of the people can pee in the cornflakes of 49.9 percent of the people.
If voting always breaks in favor of protecting our rights, why are Democrats so upset that elected officials in various states are restricting the right to vote? That should be impossible. Voting is a fundamental right, the fundamental right, they insist. Well, people voted for Republican-controlled legislatures and those legislatures are, Democrats tell us, restricting a fundamental right. Paradoxical! By the way, the fact that this is being done on a party line basis shouldn’t be an issue either, given that Democrats at the national level think they should do everything and anything they want on a party line basis. If voting in partisan lockstep to tighten voting procedures is illegitimate, voting for expanding or federalizing them should be too. Ditto Build Back Better and the rest.
The Constitution has two important functions: to protect the republic/ democracy that represents the people and to protect the people’s individual liberty from the abuses of democracy. Democracy is not the end, it is the means and must be limited.
Biden’s Jam 6 speech was just the kind of abuse the Constitution was designed to thwart.