Skip to content
Tyler Cowen

Stop Calling Everything You Disagree With ‘Anti-Democratic’

Democracy itself is not to blame for every wrongheaded or misguided decision made by a freely elected government.

Smash that like button.

Smash that like button.

Photographer: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP

One of the most disturbing trends in current discourse is the misuse of the term “anti-democratic.” It has become a kind of all-purpose insult, used as a cudgel to criticize political and intellectual opponents. Not only is this practice intellectually lazy, but it threatens to distort the meaning and obscure the value of democracy.

The advantages of democracy are obvious, at least to me, and deserve greater emphasis: