Populist Movement to Rescind the 17th Amendment
and Restore Our National Sovereignty
o restore our national sovereignty and regain our republic we must do away with the 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The 17th Amendment provides for the direct election by popular vote of U.S. Senators in federal elections. Before the 17th Amendment the state legislature of each state appointed its two senators to represent the state in Washington D.C. Senators then served at the behest of their state for a term of 6 years. It is a gross under statement to portray the relationship that existed between the legislature and their U.S. Senators as an appointment. In reality the legislature hired and fired the U.S. Senators sent to Washington to represent the state. With the 17th Amendment U.S. Senators are no longer obligated to represent the interests of their host state and are now able to pledge their allegiances and loyalties to whomever they choose. Senators know they do not have to be accountable to anyone but those who fund their campaigns in a significant way. Reason? They get elected by swaying the masses with carefully calculated media strategies, not by their performance in office or the policies they advocate. The express intent of the Constitution was that senators represent their respective states, whereas congressmen are elected by popular vote and represent the people. This was an important fundamental division of powers. The 17th Amendment changed all this.
Elected by popular vote, senators no longer represent the interests of the state. The states in many instances hire lobbyists so that they can be heard in Washington. Who do U.S. Senators now represent? That is the central question. In the state of California, for example, it costs upwards of $40 million to mount a successful campaign for a U.S. Senate seat. A candidate for the senate is forced to make deals and seek the approval of powerful special interest groups, which are a conglomeration of domestic and multinational corporations and foreign governments. Senators are always in need of money to finance the next election and are therefore forever beholden to special interest groups who can provide campaign funding and favorable media exposure.
The powers of the U.S. Senate are immense. Senators make treaties, ratify the appointments of federal judges including Supreme Court Justices, appoint the Federal Reserve Chairman and enact federal laws. All these activities and much more exclude the active participation and consent of the states, though everything the Senate does concerns the states. Special interests alone now decide these important matters of state.
An intellectual revolution is long past due to rid ourselves of this sovereignty robbing amendment. Our republic was founded on the principle of government from the bottom up, not from the top down. When legislatures selected their senators, every federal law, appointment and treaty required the consent of the states which then controlled the Federal Government through their senators, who routinely voted the will of the legislatures of their client states. Therefore the Government in Washington was forever obliged to seek the approval of the states and people for authority to act. This is the very essence of government with the consent of the governed and the cornerstone of our constitutional republic. With the 17th Amendment the states lost their sovereignties. The U.S. Senate has a proclivity to represent the interests of predatory corporations and foreign governments in deference to the states and people, paying homage to powerful special interests needed for campaign financing.
Making the office of U.S. Senator a political position offends and mocks the intent of the Constitution and undermines fundamental principles of our republic. Many heated debates during the formation of the Constitution makes this all too apparent. Before the infamy of the 17th Amendment, town hall meetings were an important part of our governing process. Then important matters brewing in Washington were debated in the legislatures of the various states. When the legislature reached a consensus, it notified its senators who voted the will of the state and people. As part of this process local governments, municipal bodies and concerned citizens convened meetings and drafted resolutions expressing their views which were then passed onto the state legislature while it was deliberating the issue. This was truly government from the bottom up, the quintessence of representative government and linchpin of our republic. Had NAFTA, the World Trade Organization and the Viet Nam War, for examples, been deliberated by the states and people, disasters could have been averted. Either we rescind the 17th Amendment and restore our national republic with the concept of government from the bottom up or endure government shoved down our throats from the top down. There is no middle ground if liberty and sovereignty are cherished.
Numerous examples can be cited where the Federal Government dictates directives to the states having to do with such issues as the environment, land use, commerce, crime, parks, gun control, waterways, wetlands to name a few. In many instances federal funding is withheld or some other sanction imposed unless the states comply with some federal mandate. Should the states regain their suffrage in the Senate, the states and people collectively will decide what is best for the nation. We must return to the concept where Government is decided locally. Either we rule our Government as sovereigns or become the subjects of the Government, which will then happily rule us.
Ridding ourselves of the 17th Amendment will restore great powers and sovereignties to the states and return us to the concept of a Federal Government with specified and limited powers. For example the Federal Reserve System is a privately owned monetary monopoly. If the states regained their senators, the Federal Reserve System would become effectively nationalized and brought under the control of the 50 states and indirectly the people, since the U.S. Senate ratifies the appointment of the Federal Reserve Chairman and regulates the Fed. Consequently the International Monetary Fund and World Bank would also succumb to governance by the 50 states. Other examples include the United Nations and Department of Education. Should we continue our membership, for example, in the United Nations with untold expenditures in the billions of dollars? Should we continue to spend $60 million a year to fund the Department of Education, or can this sum be better spent by the states in funding education? These are issues which must properly be decided by the states and people rather than decided by elitists, special interests, multinationals and internationalists. Unless we rid ourselves of the 17th Amendment, bad laws can never be repealed and good laws never enacted.
It should always be remembered that the 17th Amendment was pushed through the states by the Progressive Party, which was financed by powerful money interests. The Progressives wanted a federal graduated income tax, a central bank privately owned, the direct election of U.S. Senators by popular vote and entry into the League of Nations. They failed to get the United States into the League of Nations but succeeded in their other agenda goals. Their acknowledged greatest accomplishment was getting the states to ratify the 17th Amendment, which provides for the direct election of U.S. Senators. Getting the states to consent to the 17th Amendment, which was very unpopular with state legislators, required much arm twisting and the greasing of many palms which is perhaps the greatest untold story in the history of the United States. The Progressives were candid in their observation that all their other works would be overturned if the states retained control of the U.S. Senate.
There was no flaw or defect in the original Constitution which made the 17th Amendment necessary or beneficial. When senators belonged to the states, it was impossible for outside interests to manipulate and control Government for their advantage. How do you deal with 50 or so sovereign and independent states? How can anyone persuade the U.S. Senate to do anything unless the state legislatures are in agreement? If anyone wanted to buy the vote of the U.S. Senate, the legislatures of the states would have to be bought first, and no one has that much money. Buying favors in the House of Representatives are useless when the states own the Senate. The people who wrote the Constitution were no fools. These safeguards were put in place for a reason. The intent was that the President represent the country, the Senate represent the states and Representatives, who are elected by popular vote, represent the people. It was conceded that the Presidency would ultimately succumb to moneyed interests, so the powers of Government were scattered in three directions: House, Senate and Presidency. As a further protection the Constitution provides for a Federal Judiciary, whose appointments were ratified by the states through their senators, and federal courts were instituted to protect the people from oppressive state governments: a perfect check and balance. The 17th Amendment destroyed this scenario.
Now the Senate represents the interests of powerful special interests. Judicial appointments are decided by those same special interests. The Presidency too is selected by powerful special interests which have requisitioned the Government for their advantage. The whole thing is a bargain even at twice the price for these special interests who control and manipulate actions of Government at the top. In short these special interests have become the defacto Government of the United States.