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Repeal the 17th Amendment


1. What is the solution? the government or the market? There is no third solution.

2. How can we use market democracy and other means to help tame political democracy as our Founding Fathers did in 1776, or will we willy-nilly let it slowly but surely snuff our civilization, our future, our very well-being?

3. How can we tie the free-market idea to a moral code based on virtue, honor, dignity, and wisdom?

No question that capitalism, the politically-wise idea of market democracy, is America’s true democracy. Its opposite: the bipartisan Welfare-Warfare State via coercive winner-take-all “democracy,” is a case of planned chaos, of a nation chasing its tail for an end-of-rainbow pot-of-gold.

Progressivism was not the domain of just one political party, as both Republicans and Democrats vied with each other to see who could more thoroughly expand the state. Republicans, led by Theodore Roosevelt and Sen. Robert LaFollette of Wisconsin, pushed for high tariffs, government ownership of natural resources, antitrust legislation, and imperialistic adventures abroad.

Democrats, on the other hand, led by William Jennings Bryan and Woodrow Wilson, pushed the income tax, inflation through debasement of the money supply, and the internal protectionist device known as Jim Crow laws, which attempted to shield white workers from competition from blacks. Both parties favored expansion of voting rights to women. What is clear is that neither party had any intention of honoring the U.S. Constitution.

In fact, the Progressive Era would not have had its social and legal effect had it not been for its reworking of the Constitution through the amendment process. The 17th amendment reworked the political landscape and greatly expanded the scope of the central government, one of the main goals of progressives.

In the original design by the Framers of the U.S. Constitution, there was an effective check on Congress through the state legislatures’ power to appoint (and remove) United States Senators.

As such, the core of the problem with state’s rights issues lies in the passage of the 17th Amendment in 1913, which abrogated the state legislatures’ right to appoint United States Senators in favor of popular election of those officials. This amendment created a fundamental structural problem which, irrespective of the political party in office, or the laws in effect at any one time, will result, over time, in expanding federal control in every area.

The 17th Amendment caused a failure in the federalist structure, federal deficit spending, inappropriate federal mandates, and federal control over a number of state institutions.

The amendment has also caused a fundamental breakdown in campaign finance issues with respect to United States Senators. As to United States Senators, campaign finance reform, a hot topic in Congress now, can be best achieved by repealing the 17th Amendment to the United States Constitution. It should be readily apparent that United States Senators, once appointed by the state legislature, would have no need for campaign financing whatsoever.

The 17th Amendment should be repealed. This would reinstate the states’ linkage to the federal political process and would, thereby, have the effect of elevating the present status of the state legislatures from that of lobbyists, to that of a partner in the federal political process.The state legislatures would then have the ability to decentralize power when appropriate.

It would give state legislatures direct influence over the selection of federal judges and the jurisdiction of the federal judiciary and much greater ability to modify the power of the federal judiciary. This structure would allow the flow of power between the states and the federal government to ebb and flow as the needs of our federal republic change.

The existing relationship, combined with the effect of the Supremacy Clause, is guaranteed to concentrate power into the hands of the federal government with little or no hope of return. The resulting issue surrounding the fracas between the states and federal government is whether the states or the federal government should be exercising a particular power. There are no amendments in the US Constitution that enumerates power to the federal government to take care of poor, sick, and elderly.

The 17th Amendment took power of appointment of U.S. senators from the state legislatures and and placed it in the hands of voters. This further helped make the states subservient to the national agenda of progressives.

Cross-posted at The Minority Report

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