Many Americans on both sides of the aisle think that the U.S. Senate is broken and that something needs to be done to fix it. But, the truth is it has been broken for decades and the way to fix it is to repeal the disastrous 17th Amendment.
If you think our nation is being ruined by the two party system you should consider the huge mistake we made in 1913 by changing our Constitution to allow American citizens to vote our federal Senators into office. In the beginning and until 1913 we did not elect U.S. Senators to the upper chamber because the founders originally meant for them to be individually appointed to office by the legislatures of the various states.
That 1913 mistake is the17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Previous to 1913 senators were appointed by the state governments to represent them in Congress but after passage of the 17th amendment the Senate became an elective office with members elected by the people at the ballot box in a general election.
At first hearing, it seems like a good idea full of populist “power to the people” to elect senators. It also seemed like a way to “fix” what had seemed like an error in the original Constitution. The cure, however, has proven worse than the disease and made the old saying, “all politics is local” into a lie at long last.
As originally conceived by our founders, the members of the House of Representatives were to represent the needs of the people of their regions or states, which is why they are elected by the citizens of the states. Senators, on the other hand, were supposed to represent the state legislatures in Congress to assure that Federal power did not usurp state sovereignty and were, therefore, appointed by those same state legislatures accordingly.
But now that senators are elected to their position we have essentially eliminated any say that state governments might have in federal matters simply because those same Senators are no longer beholden to their state legislatures.
It is true that there was a problem with the original way we placed senators in Congress, granted. Previous to the 17th amendment state legislatures could often be found in such a closely split balance between parties that a choice of a senator was a political impossibility when the parties were not able to agree on a candidate. The consequence of this deadlock was that sometimes states would find themselves without a senator sitting in Washington and, therefore, without representation there. Even in the very first Congress New York found itself without a senator for a period of time because they could not agree on a candidate due to a deadlocked legislature. The problem really became troublesome after the Civil War and just until the Amendment was proposed. Delaware once went four years at a stretch without a senator. This was the problem the 17th Amendment was meant to remedy.
At first this seemed like an ideal solution. Let the people vote and take the burden off the state legislatures and, in this way, assure that there will always be the requisite number of senators sitting in Congress.
Unfortunately, we have seen the result of this fix to the Constitution, an act akin to putting a Band-Aid on a case of skin cancer, allowing the malignancy to grow instead of getting rid of it.
By opening senators to election by the people we took the influence of the state right out of the federal government. Since the senators themselves were no longer directly responsible to the state legislature, but supposedly to the people who elected them, they no longer had to pay strict attention to what the state government needed or wanted. The senators were autonomous from the state legislature and have since gravitated toward adherence to strict party ideals making them beholden to the national parties and not the state OR the people who elected them. They now campaign on the “national issues” of the day instead of upon the issues their state is interested in pursuing.
Such campaigning on party issues was pioneered by the Democrats in the 1930’s as they tried to advance the New Deal policies of the FDR administration. It was made into an art form by the Johnson and Clinton administrations with the Republicans following suit starting with the Reagan era and solidified in Newt Gingrich’s ’94 elections. National parties have since made strict national issues or planks which have become a litmus test for party candidates and for party money to be bestowed upon them for their campaigns by the national organizations.
This, in turn, has totally eliminated state control or representation in the halls of Congress and that has unleashed a torrent of federal rules and regulations that have hamstrung the states and reduced them to vassals of the federal government.
Senators who are beholden to the national parties make it less likely that they will differ too greatly from the party line thereby not giving them much latitude to act independently or to be influenced by regional concerns. This is increasing year after year.
The issues senators run on have been thoroughly nationalized and so has the expectations of the electorate of just who is and who is not a “proper” member of any particular party. For instance, abortion and gun control have become national standards for party affiliation whereas they used to originate from regional standards. Al Gore used to be against abortion and gun control before he became a Democrat on the “national stage” and from the point he announced a run for the presidency. In the early 1990’s he made a 180-degree flip flop on those issues for no other reason than to be compatible with the national policies of the Democratic Party. He did this while still a senator, it should be remembered. He certainly did not change his opinions out of introspection but rather to “fit in” with the directives of the national party and to assure himself the attention and support of that national party.
Joe Lieberman is another perfect example of this problem. He was forced to run as an “independent Democrat” back in the early 2000s against an upstart candidate who didn’t even come close to representing the needs and wishes of the people of Connecticut but one who fit in perfectly with the Democratic Party leadership. The party alone tried to choose Connecticut’s candidate quite regardless of what the people of the state wanted.
Another aspect of this problem is the amount of campaign donations that come from outside any particular state to fund a senate run. Lieberman’s unrepresentative opponent was heavily funded by forces well outside the state instead of by the citizens who would actually elect him to office. This has the effect of driving the costs of running for office ever higher in key races.
This nationalization of issues also has the unintended consequence of making an independently minded national candidate for president difficult to elect or to even be heard because the parties themselves have become stronger than the states making them far more the arbiter of who is “allowed” to run for office than the people. This has made the truly conservative Republican a pariah in the national party.
Perhaps it is time to revisit the 17th amendment and place power back in the hands of the states as they determine who will represent them and, in turn, us in the halls of the Senate of the United States.
Text of 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.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.Don't forget to Like The Washington Sentinel on Facebook and Twitter, and visit our friends at The Republican Legion.
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California Shutdown: Rogan Makes The Case For Moving To Texas
Joe Rogan says he is sincerely considering relocating from California to Texas in response to the state’s overly “restrictive” response to the and its “ridiculous” taxes.
“Here’s the thing, if California continues to be restrictive, I don’t know if this is a good place to live. First of all, it’s extremely expensive — the taxes here are ridiculous.”
On his popular podcast show Wednesday, host and comedian Joe Rogan said he is seriously considering relocating from California to Texas in response to the deep-blue state’s overly “restrictive” response to the and its “ridiculous” taxes.
“I might move to Texas,” Rogan said, citing serious previous discussions he’s had about it (video below).
“Here’s the thing, if California continues to be restrictive, I don’t know if this is a good place to live,” said the popular podcast host. “First of all, it’s extremely expensive — the taxes here are ridiculous.”
“And if they really say that we can’t do standup until 2022, or some sh** like that, I might jet,” he continued. “I’m not kidding. I’m not kidding. This is silly. I don’t need to be here.”
“The only reason why I’m here is because I’m close to people like you,” he added. “A lot of my friends live here, the [Comedy] Store is here. But if they won’t let us do the Store, but we can do stand up in other places, why would we stay here?”
Asked where in Texas he would consider moving, Rogan cited Austin and Dallas as potential landing spots. “I like Austin a lot, I like Dallas a lot. I like Houston, but I don’t know if I’d live in Houston,” he said, noting the humidity in the area. More
If you decide to leave your poorly run state, please have enough humility to recognize that the political, economic, and social ideas of that state are what caused the problems that you are fleeing. Please don’t bring those ideas with you.
Toy Gun Causes Chaos After Zoom Class: ‘My Poor Kids Thought We Were Going To Be Arrested.”
Sheila Perez Smith told the Todd Starnes Show that she was astonished when the police showed up at her home after a zoom class another parent had been “very uncomfortable” with a toy gun in plain sight during the class.
USA IS IN DANGER – FROM SOCIALIST TYRANTS LIKE>>>YOUR KIDS TEACHERS: READ THIS:
Cops Lecture Parents About 7-Year-Old’s Toy Gun https://t.co/lQyWvnTq9T
— Love Trump (@LoveTru72457107) May 15, 2020
Karen’s gonna Karen.
There’s really nothing worse than neighbors ratting out neighbors. But that’s what Democrats are urging citizens to do across the country. And more often than not innocent Americans are getting caught in the crosshairs.
Sheila Perez Smith tells the Todd Starnes Show that she was stunned when the police showed up at her home near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Mrs. Smith’s 7-year-old son had just completed a zoom class from the den of their home when she received an urgent email from her son’s first grade teacher.
It just so happened that the little boy had recently been gifted a toy gun and the child had placed his “new favorite thing” on the table next to the computer.
“Another parent had been very uncomfortable by the fact that the gun had been in view of the zoom call,” Mrs. Smith said on my radio show. “It’s such an innocent thing that someone used to make a judgment and an accusation.”
A few hours after they received the email, there was a knock at the front door. It was the police. More
He’s old enough for a .22. Get him one and teach him gun safety
Cops Lecture Parents About 7-Year-Old’s Toy Gun https://t.co/hv3FeS7M9i
— Tony Giaquinto (@1tonyg) May 15, 2020
As a child, I used to run around with friends playing “cops and robbers” with cap guns popping off caps everywhere. I guess today, they’d call in a SWAT team and put everyone in the neighborhood on lockdown. How very, very sad.
That was in Pennsylvania??? I mean, California or New Jersey, sure.. but PA?
How do these poor cops cope with deer season every year? Hide in their basement?
— Calhoun (@RCalh) May 15, 2020
Dennis Prager: Our Dress Rehearsal For A Police State
It truly is disconcerting how easily Americans have accepted erosion of our freedoms and civil rights in the name of public safety.
Dennis Prager says this is our dress rehearsal for a police state.
“The federal, state, county and city governments are now restricting almost every freedom except those of travel and speech. Americans have been banned from going to work (and thereby earning a living), meeting in groups (both indoors and outdoors), meeting in their cars in church parking lots to pray, and entering state-owned properties such as beaches and parks — among many other prohibitions.”
Worth reading. Very sobering. https://t.co/ZvI9HlhlpW
— Bronzeback (@bronzeback26) May 3, 2020
All my life, I have dismissed paranoids on the right (“America is headed to communism”) and the left (“It can happen here” — referring to fascism). It’s not that I’ve ever believed liberty was guaranteed. Being familiar with history and a pessimist regarding the human condition, I never believed that.
But the ease with which police state tactics have been employed and the equal ease with which most Americans have accepted them have been breathtaking.
People will argue that a temporary police state has been justified because of the allegedly unique threat to life posed by the new coronavirus. I do not believe the data will bear that out. Regardless, let us at least agree that we are closer to a police state than ever in American history.
“Police state” does not mean totalitarian state. America is not a totalitarian state; we still have many freedoms. In a totalitarian state, this article could not be legally published, and if it were illegally published, I would be imprisoned and/or executed.
But we are presently living with all four of the key hallmarks of a police state:
No. 1: Draconian laws depriving citizens of elementary civil rights. More
This is no dress rehearsal for a police state. In many states that is exactly what we already have. Dennis Prager is correct, the most frightening part is how quickly the American public has allowed it to happen.
Candace Owens Suspended from Twitter for Weighing in on Michigan Lockdown
This is the authoritarian technocracy at work, folks.
We need to stop thinking about social media as a place where we can freely express ourselves, and begin to ponder ways in which we can utilize these platforms to gauge tyranny.
You see, you can’t just say whatever you want on Twitter anymore. Or Facebook. Or even Instagram. Your thoughts are being monitored, and if your opinions are considered “invalid”, they will be removed from the conversation.
This will occur in spite of the business and exposure that you bring to the platform as well, so don’t think that being a big-name online is going to save you from the agenda set forth by these Orwellian clowns.
Conservative firebrand and BLEXIT founder Candace Owens was suspended from Twitter on Saturday after tweeting that people in Michigan should open their businesses and “go to work” despite the draconian measures implemented by Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D) in response to the Chinese virus.
“Apparently [Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer] believes she is a duly elected dictator of a socialist country,” Owens had tweeted. “The people of Michigan need to stand up to her. Open your businesses. Go to work.”
“The police think she’s crazy too,” she added. “They are not going to arrest 10,000,000 people for going to work.”
Owens wasn’t even given an actual explanation.
On Saturday, Owens received a notification from Twitter informing her that her account was suspended over the aforementioned tweet.
“We determined this Tweet violated the Twitter Rules, specifically for:” read the notification, but did not further clarify which specific rules Owens had violated on the social media platform.
This is the authoritarian technocracy at work, folks.
Tucker Exposes How MSM And Dems Appear To Be Parroting Chinese Propaganda
Fox News host Tucker Carlson exposed how the media and Democrats appear to be parroting Chinese propaganda.
“Many in the intelligence world with experience in China suspected right away that the story the Chinese government was telling about this virus was almost certainly a lie.”
Tucker nails it!
Tucker Carlson blasts China for their coronavirus cover up. pic.twitter.com/yfBtxui2dv
— (((Jason Rantz))) on KTTH Radio (@jasonrantz) April 18, 2020
Fox News host Tucker Carlson aired a segment that showed how a lot of the rhetoric being used by the mainstream media and Democratic Party matches the propaganda that the communist Chinese government is using to deflect blame over the coronavirus outbreak.
Carlson began the segment by reporting on what he says U.S. government officials have told him about the coronavirus outbreak that originated in China, and by also documenting how China has repeatedly changed its story about what happened.
Later in the segment, Carlson said, “As of today, says someone in a position to know, there is ‘Almost unanimous agreement in the American intelligence gathering agencies that the virus currently destroying much of the world emerged from a lab in Wuhan.’ Almost unanimous. That is a phrase almost never used to describe any conclusion coming out of the Intel Community.” More
All hysteria aside this virus originated in China—it’s a Chinese virus period. The MSM is the most despicable group of people on the planet.
The fact that they would pick up this propaganda and spread it without looking at the facts is a disgrace and a disservice to people who want to know the truth. They don’t really care about Americans.
How could they NOT know #covod19 was contagious via human to human contact.
We ALL saw it play out on the news back n Nov/Dec.
Shame on ALL of them. ? ?? pic.twitter.com/UTPptWl9oC
— Pam ? (@Pam2189) April 18, 2020
They never listened to what Taiwan had to tell them because they didn’t want to offend China.
— D.R. (@D_Rial_7M1) April 18, 2020
— Wise Old Queen (@WiseOldQueen) April 18, 2020
Doctor From MIT Warns ‘Deep State’ Using Coronavirus Fear-Mongering
Hopefully, this guy has above-average security!
A scientist with four degrees from MIT believes the coronavirus pandemic is being used by the “Deep State” for its own purposes.
“As an MIT PhD in Biological Engineering who studies & does research nearly every day on the Immune System, the #coronavirus fear mongering by the Deep State will go down in history as one of the biggest fraud to manipulate economies, suppress dissent, & push MANDATED Medicine!”
As an MIT PhD in Biological Engineering who studies & does research nearly every day on the Immune System, the #coronavirus fear mongering by the Deep State will go down in history as one of the biggest fraud to manipulate economies, suppress dissent, & push MANDATED Medicine! https://t.co/Q5VeOqzWEp
— Dr.SHIVA Ayyadurai, MIT PhD. Inventor of Email (@va_shiva) March 9, 2020
A decorated scientist with four degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology believes the coronavirus pandemic is being used by the “Deep State” for its own purposes.
Shiva Ayyadurai said on Twitter that “fear-mongering” over the outbreak is being used to push an agenda.
It is important to note that Ayyadurai did not say the disease is man-made or a hoax.
But what Ayyadurai did say is that some in the government are using the pandemic to frighten people into obedience.
Think about what has transpired in less than a week’s time. We have handed control of nearly everything in our lives to the government. More
It didn’t take long for me to see this as a means to ensure President Trump’s loss in 2020, but that’s not going to happen. Once again, Trump has outsmarted them all.
I truly believe that the liberals are using this to create chaos, especially for Trump’s re-election.
Scientist with 4 Degrees from MIT Warns ‘Deep State’ Using Coronavirus Fear-Mongering To Suppress Dissent https://t.co/Wb9iNG6FpX
— Rachel B (@rb2225) March 17, 2020
That’s what I’ve been saying all along! The virus is real and should be taken as seriously but I truly believe that the Deep State Democrats have a nasty surprise up their sleeves.
Bernie Tells Americans Exactly What Will Make Him Drop Out
The Democratic Party’s been trying to stop him for months, and now Bernie has told them exactly how to do it.
The Democratic Party is beginning to run out of time. They have only a few scant weeks to get their ducks in a row before the Democratic National Convention in order to avoid an abomination of a nomination.
The issue now is that the Democratic voters are clearly favoring Bernie Sanders for the nod, while the party establishment appears to be shoving Joe Biden down everyone’s throats. The friction has been a bit ugly to watch, like a slow motion fender bender that will see you rescheduling your entire afternoon before you know it.
But Sanders, to his credit, has been fairly honest about the process. He’s explained his expectations to his supporters explicitly, and has now told us precisely what would make him consider leaving the race altogether.
From his appearance on MSNBC earlier this week:
RACHEL MADDOW: If, at the end of the day, it turns out that Vice President Biden is going to have more delegates than you do heading into the convention, will you drop out?
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: Of course I’m gonna drop out; he will win. I mean, I suspect, we will run through the process, and I think people have a right to vote. But if Biden walks into the convention, or at the end of the process has more votes than me, he’s the winner.
MADDOW: And that’s true whether or not he has a majority or a just plurality?
SEN. SANDERS: Absolutely, that’s what I’ve said. Look, here’s the story, and there’s some confusion about this. Last time around in 2016, you talked about 2016, you’ll remember that before the very first vote was cast in Iowa, Hillary Clinton had 500 superdelegates at her side. She walked into the campaign with 500 superdelegates. I thought that was totally outrageous, absurd, and undemocratic. We fought very hard in the Democratic rules process to get rid of all superdelegates. That is my preference. I think it should be the decision of the people, not Washington insiders. We lost, but what we did get is not getting rid of all super delegates at the convention voting, but that on the first ballot there won’t be any superdelegates voting.
And there you have it, Democratic Deep State: The surefire way to make Bernie Sanders go away is to actually beat him in the primary. Who would have thunk it?
Florida: Biden Speech Gets Slurry While Speaking (Video)
Why the sunglasses?
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