So, when huge numbers of people turn out against something, at some cost to themselves, in an effort to signal to their State bureaucracy that they really, really don’t like what it’s doing well, you’d think it would give conservatives of a certain stripe some pause. After all, people aren’t stupid. And it takes a lot to get them annoyed enough to join a protest march. And the strengths of both democracy and the market are rooted in disaggregated decision-making, right?
But this hasn’t been their reaction. Instead, it’s made many of them retreat into a more atavistic, essentially pre-modern form of conservativism. The kind that regards the people as ignorant dupes who don’t know what’s good for them. The kind that’s contemptuous of the masses and snickers at their poorly-articulated convictions. The kind that, when faced with popular dissent, assumes that the dissenters must ipso facto not truly be Of The People. The kind, in other words, usually associated with the dogmatic worst of the Left they claim to reject.