4 thoughts on “Take Back the Senate!

  1. Good post, but it will never happen. The cat is out of the bag and now Senators are elected by Billionaire Cartels rather than state legislatures.

    Also, thank you for your stance on Islam.

  2. Thanks to Bill Whittle for bringing up an idea of such power.

    The contrast between the House and the Senate not only involves the people versus the states. It involves the average citizens (consumers) versus the propertied (producers). It stands to reason that the wealthy producers who own property would have more of a stake, and influence, in the Senate under the original Constitution.

    Benjamin Franklin said “When the people find that they can vote themselves money that will herald the end of the republic.”

    And yet, there is no doubt that were the owners of companies to control government, they would enact regulations designed to shut out competition, and tax the public for public services beneficial to business, such as roads and subsidies.

    That is the beauty of checks and balances. The House served as a check for the tendency of business to regulate out competition and to subsidize themselves from the public taxes, while the Senate served as a check on the tendency of the common people to redistribute income. Also, the House served as an expression of the popular will, while the Senate allowed a more in-depth debate among professional politicians and leaders of society.

    The US Constitution may have been one of the first forms of government to institutionalize checks and balances between different segments of society. The Upper and Lower houses of the British parliament serves somewhat the same function, but the Upper House represents the interest of nobility, rather than of the productive sector.

    One problem of modern government is that it involves too many issues for the common voter to decide. The division of the legislature into the House and Senate guaranteed that the citizens could become involved if their interests were directly threatened, but most of the time, the legislation would be determined through negotiations between interested, and opposing, parties. Again, the principle of checks and balances is more likely to keep the government focused, efficient, and limited.

  3. I believe repealing the 17th amendment is not impossible. My intuition is that there are a lot more convincing reasons for returning the election of the U.S. Senate into the hands of the States than leaving it like it is. All it needs is for someone to bring a strong, well thought out argument in its favor. The status quo has a soft underbelly that only needs exposing.

  4. Yes, even my best friend who is a liberal that wants to solve problems, not ‘win’, thinks the Senate should be appointed by state legislatures as it once was. But it is part of a pattern. I posted against a news item on trying to make the presidency popularly elected instead of by the college of electors, and was hit with standard talking points in my comment thread (which I trashed). There is a movement about, under the radar, to have the electoral vote for the president in any given state match the percentage vote, instead of winner take all. This of course does on a national level what the popular election of Senators does on the state level–give all power to the populous states and their populous centers. It is a liberal wet dream.

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