Stripping the States of Representation; the 17th Amendment

Were you aware that state legislatures used to be the ones to elect Senators. Yep, it was Article I, § 3, Clauses 1 and 2 of the Constitution. That ended in 1913 with the 17th Amendment.

“The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures.
When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.

This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution.”

The idea at the birth of America, was that the House of Representatives was to be the advocates and emissaries for the public’s rights, and the Senate advocates for the State’s rights. The Senate can make sure that the Federal Government doesn’t restrict the rights or pass unfunded mandates to the States. Grand idea! Right?

Well, politicians being what they are, it went downhill. When you possess the power to pull strings, you find that you have a lot of “friends”, who want to help, in exchange for a favor or five. State’s politicians began voting for the most popular special interest i.e who paid out to the most people. Also at times, States would throw temper-tantrums like hormonal teenagers(still do act like that) and wouldn’t send anyone to Washington. Effectively cutting their representation in half.

Tired of this crap, state citizens started pushing for direct elections and got them. And, it didn’t take long for a special interest’s and political greed to work around that, wasn’t hard, it works for the House. Sad thing about elections, only about 33% even bother to vote, and only 10% probably studied the issues and candidates. Everyone else is voting on emotion and slogans.

Remember that just societies have a  check and balance system. Government makes laws which are enforced by the cops. Laws are just words on paper, you don’t have to follow them, which is why we have cops. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights are the laws that keep the Federal Government in check BUT it’s just words on paper unless enforced by someone. Guess who that is? WE THE PEOPLE, and we are failing miserable due to apathy and complacency. A little monetary or physical security in exchange for freedom and liberty. Not for this wolf, I’m not one of the flock, I’m above it and have taken it upon myself to snap you from your slumber, remove your blindfolds and show you how IT IS!

Another essay to follow on the Eighteenth Amendment. Stay tuned for it next week.


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