Republicans have two things going for them in their effort to convince the public that Democrats have become the mob. First is the fringe (but growing) belief on the left that civility is only an obstacle to political justice. Bothering a senator during supper might feel satisfying and powerful in the moment, but it’s probably a turnoff to the median voter Democrats will need to win November’s midterm elections. Still, most Americans who are critical of Trump and the GOP aren’t harassing elected officials in restaurants — they’re too busy getting dinner on the table for their own families.
Second is the fact that, while it’s true the Founders meant to restrain democratic passions, they were serious about designing government that was responsive to its citizens. Conservatives who poo-poo the tyranny of the majority like to say that the United States is not a democracy, but a republic. They’re half-right: Republics allow citizens to delegate governance to their representatives — those representatives are to act in the service of the people, not in spite of them. The Founders knew this very well.
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