Repealing the 17th Amendment Is A Hard Sell

Over at The Missouri Record, David Linton argues in favor of repealing the 17th Amendment which allows the direct election of Senators.

I agree, but I think this is going to be a hard sell to the American public which has come to believe that the key to an open government is more and more transparency and direct accountability of officials, where more and more citizen votes means better and better government.  Of course, this more accountable system allows incumbents to go to Washington, vote for government expansion for five years, and return home just before the election to claim they’re independent and fiscally conservative.  Thusly, the ruling class can fool the inattentive, and the whole More Accountability benefit falls by the wayside.  Granted, this failure rests more on the heads of the inattentive citizens than the charlatans they elect, but it circumvents the system our foresighted forefathers put into place.

The state legislators, on the other hand, are professionals (or are at least paying attention) since that is some part of their job, and they know whether the Senators serve the interests of the state or the interests of the Senators or their political party instead.  That was part of the balance the Constitution prepared for us.

But in the 21st Century, the trend is not to balance individual voter whims and trends with the power of the sovereign states.  See also the National Popular Vote movement to end-around the Electoral College.  The current popular will values the popular will, and those who seek to unravel our system of government hold out the entitlement of an uninformed vote to the masses. 

Don’t expect the masses to give it up any time soon.

(Cross-posted at 24th

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