This paper discusses one of the most pressing challenges facing liberal democracies, specifically, the tensions between the concept of popular consent (or "sovereignty of the people") and the protection of individual freedoms. These two aspects of democracy have been in liberal democracies across time and space, argues the author, but the paper examines in detail the rise of a populist bloc in the United States. The author asserts that the self-contradiction contained within democracy reflects social and economic differences and not ethnic or cultural variance. The author concludes that the conflict between these two aspects of democracy produces a system of government which favors one aspect over the other. This, the author says, creates sharp social conflict in America and could give rise to a novel form of democracy there.