I have been in the political arena for quite a while, between posting my analysis and commentary online or through print, to now running for office. One thing I have always taken a look at is the 17th amendment and the need to repeal.
There is a reason why the states were granted the authority to select their members of the Senate. It was a check and balance to the power of the federal government. Now the federal government is selected by the people. This is something that has left the growing power unchecked. Were the Senate still the instrument of the collective power of state governments, there could be some amount of pushing back when federal agencies intrude into jurisdictions that belong to the states (essentially making sure the 10th amendment keeps the powers not granted the federal government are given to the states).
The single most important reason for a repeal of the 17th amendment is to balance the power between the federal and state governments.
Many supporters of the 17th amendment argue that the the people choosing their Senators is a more democratic process. And while I would agree, America was not established as a democracy, but a republic. One must also look at the fact that a democratic process is no virtue if the result is despotism.
We need to have those checks and balances to avoid mob rule, so to speak.
States are no longer voiced in several areas, many of which can and do impact their land.
- The states no longer have say in treaties, because they do not control the Senate any longer.
- The states have no say in cabinet appointments, which in many cases, end up having enforcement powers from the federal government to regulate private citizens and their behavior.
- They are also removed from the approval process of legislation at the federal level that impacts their state.
Another great reason to repeal the 17th amendment is because of campaign finance. Right now, Senators and those seeking Senate seats, rake in billions each election. Why do you think that is? They are spending time and money campaigning to their states. By repealing this amendment, Senators would only need to focus on their state’s legislature (people elected by the population of the state), and focus more on work.
I have seen time and time again, Senators spending the majority of their time in office on the campaign trail. They aren’t being held accountable, and the sums needed to run for this office are staggering. Repealing the amendment takes care of both the time spent and money issues. They actually wouldn’t even need to raise any money to run for the Senate.
This brings me to my final point, that when the money is no longer needed, qualified person not otherwise able to afford a run for the U.S. Senate, would now be able to. There are many qualified people in the United States that have great ideas, but they don’t have the access to the money like others. It becomes a rich man’s game, and excludes the vast majority of the American populace.
So that is why I would like to propose the amendment be repealed.