“Liberalism both needs and fears democracy. It needs democracy because it needs the legitimation that democracy provides. It fears, however, that its dependence on, yet fundamental difference from, democracy will be finally and irrevocably exposed by a sustained course of nonliberal popular opinion.”
The original is here and worth the read if your interested in reading about democracy: https://thejosias.com/2018/05/09/liberalisms-fear/
The quote reminded me of this:
“The democratic fallacy has been its preoccupation with the origin of government rather than with the processes and results. The democrat has always assumed that if political power could be derived in the right way, it would be benificient. His whole attention has been on the source of power, since he is hypnotized by the belief that the great thing is to express the will of the people, first because expression is the highest interest of man, and second because the will is instinctively good. But no amount of regulation at the source of a river will completely control its behavior, and while democrats have been absorbed in trying to find a good mechanism for originating social power…they neglected almost every other interest of men. For no matter how power originates, the crucial interest is in how power is exercised. What determines the quality of civilization is the use made of power. And that use cannot be controlled at the source.”
In my opinion, democracy for mass society is a young process. One of the points that Lippmann makes in Public Opinion (where the quote is from) is that one of the obstacles of democracy is the distance that representation tries to gap in such a large and populous country. Back when he was writing, distance (physical, psychological, cultural, etc) was indeed difficult to gap. Nowadays, communication technology has advanced, and democracy has an opportunity to mature beyond idealistic origins.