Interesting article. The stability argument has long struck me as a trojan horse for maintaining the status quo. If legislation is unconstitutional, it will adjudicated in the judicial branch. And obviously the president maintains veto power. Seen in this way, it seems clear how the filibuster is just one more lever directly attached to the brakes.

This reminds me of Moral Foundations Theory. In his book, Jonathan Haidt points out how liberals use three moral foundations while conservatives use six. He goes on to call it "The Conservative Advantage," completely overlooking how un-American the last three elements are. I believe he could have titled his book, "How I Became a Conservative, and Why You Should Too!"

Haidt himself admits he learned about Sanctity/Degradation by visiting India. I have nothing but love for India. And, there is no doubt the Indian cultural is drastically different from America. We have a different (not to say better) value system. But Sanctity/Degradation is a bit nuisanced, so let's talk about the obvious attempts to maintain the status quo.

To me, both Authority/Subversion and Loyalty/Betrayal are intended to inhibit change. We all know people resist change. Psychologists call it the "Status quo bias," or "Risk aversion." I recognize the first three foundations (Care/Harm, Liberty/Oppression, and Fairness/Cheating) as thoroughly American values. And I see the last three (Conservative) foundations as a way to protect entrenched interests/power. Kinda like the filibuster...

Bravo on this beautiful piece, Professor Brands.

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