Democracy demotion

Earlier this week, Will Wilkinson linked to an article by Michael Munger, Chair of Political Science at Duke. The article discusses the extent to which the United States is a democracy, what it really means to describe something as a democracy, and some confusions people have on the topic. In conclusion, he argues, "The framers of the U.S. Constitution fully recognized that there is nothing, nothing at all, inherent in democracy that ensures the freedom of persons or property." Now this seems obviously true, but the key word is ensures.

So, in comments at Will's site, I suggested that the article argues against a straw man, and that the interesting question is whether or not democracy makes individual freedoms more likely than other forms of government, and if so, how much more likely it makes them, not whether or not it ensures some particular outcomes. Munger, also in comments, gave a nice, but odd, response. He
says, "As for washerdreyer: Plenty of people DO believe that "love is all we need," and love=democracy. If you don't believe that...go out and tell some people! 'Cause you have already found the path of wisdom."
So I've got that going for me.

I guess I accept as an empirical matter that there are some people who think democracy is all we need, but I don't think it's very many of them. And I still think that just pointing out that democracy doesn't ensure liberal (small l) freedoms is not really an adequate answer to the question of how valuable democracy is.