Today's Opinion Journal carries an article about Natan Sharansky.
Sharansky is one very vocal proponent of "democratization" of the Middle East, an idea that currently seems much out of fashion. He makes an interesting comment (and a true one, as far as it goes) when he says ""Democracy is a rather problematic word, because democracy is about technique. I would prefer freedom. I would say people don't want to live under constant fear."
Just so. The American Founders were never particularly interested in "democracy", they wanted liberty and they feared democracy had a pretty good historical record for, among other things, immediately preceding dictatorships and tyrannies. Their ambivalence and, in some cases, outright hostility to democracy is well known and is sometimes used as one of the cudgels with which to beat their memory.
But Sharansky is right, though he does not go far enough, and the Founders were right. A gang-rape, after all, is very democratic. Democracy is not the highest political good, and, if not treated carefully, can in fact destroy higher political goods, such as liberty, justice, and the pursuit of happiness.