Incorporation is explicitly within the original intent of the Fourteenth Amendment:
Debate over the anti-KKK bill naturally required exposition of Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment, and none was better qualified to explain that section than its draftsman, Rep. John A. Bingham (R., Ohio):The courts have erred in creating a doctrine of selective incorporation in order to weasel out of (for example) requiring the states to respect the right to keep and bear arms (the drafters of the Fourteenth Amendment were quite clear in stating that one of their objectives was to prohibit the ex-rebel states from disarming the freedmen).Mr. Speaker, that the scope and meaning of the limitations imposed by the first section, fourteenth amendment of the Constitution may be more fully understood, permit me to say that the privileges and immunities of citizens of a State, are chiefly defined in the first eight amendments to the constitution of the United States. Those eight amendments are as follows: [text of Amendments I-VIII] These eight articles I have shown never were limitations upon the power of the States, until made so by the Fourteenth Amendment.
Should have read "hardly dispositive." Sorry about that.
From the Slaughterhouse Cases, the Civil Rights Cases (regarding the 1875 Civil Rights Act,) Hurtado v. California, through till 1922, the Supreme Court had not taken the step of incorporation, but had limited its application to only those rights expressly stated. With one or 2 minor and transient exceptions, it was not until 1925 in Gitlow v. New York that the Court began to interpret a provision of the Bill of Rights as binding upon the States.
The whole thing is a fraud anyway, since the 14th Amendment was never lawfully ratified. And both this amendment and the Incorporation Doctrine that has generated from it have been disastrous to our republican form of government. Among other problems, it has permitted the Federal courts to impose perverted interpretations of these amendments onto the States, like ruling the Establishment clause prohibits a manger scene at city hall, or like the Warren Court did to protect communist traitors starting around 1954, essentially deleting the words "in any criminal case" from the 5th Amendment. There are many more examples.
For a good analysis of this see Susan Shelley's How the First Amendment Came to Protect Topless Dancing. Her intro summarizes the story:
It is the incorporation doctrine that prohibits voters in each state from deciding what their law should be on school prayer, flag-burning, topless dancing, loitering, panhandling, unreasonable searches, Miranda warnings, admissibility of evidence, and, at times, the death penalty. It is the incorporation doctrine that turned views on abortion into a litmus test for judges. It is the incorporation doctrine that has put the U.S. Supreme Court at the center of controversy in American politics.
That might be fine, if anyone in the country had ever agreed to it. Instead, this overwhelming change in the structure of government was made by the U.S. Supreme Court alone, while voters and elected officials looked on, helpless to stop it.
Or are they?