Sunday, January 11, 2004

Over on TAPPED, Matthew Iglesias writes, There's nothing remotely democratic about a constitutional amendment barring state legislatures from allowing gay and lesbian couples to get married..

I'm not going to touch the issue of whether or not gay marriage should be legal. but I do think Yglesias is being disingenuous to say that a constitutional amendment would be undemocratic because it would be hard to repeal then admit in the very next paragraph that constitutional amendments are hard to pass in the first place.

People should get it through their heads that democracy is not an algorithm for good government. Democracy is capable of creating horrible, horrible regimes. It is a flaw of maxi-social Darwinism to see democracy as the necessary end (or at least the highest current state) in the evolution of political systems, and following from there that democracy should produce the most just of possible rules.

Democracy is merely a majoritarian form of government, perhaps with some constraints. Its success relies on the how often the majority is correct, how appropriate the constraints are in cae the majority is not correct, and how strongly the constraints are enforced when they go against the will of the majority.

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