Rings True to this Day

Lord Acton was not a Founding Father, nor was he even American, but his quote from above still applies to the broad scheme of political theory, especially, today.

Thanks to the Founding Fathers' tremendous amount of wisdom and effort put into the creation of this nation, this quote does not weigh as heavily upon the current circumstances of this country.  However, it is not to say that this quote should go entirely neglected even if having been made after the Constitutional Convention.  If the Electoral College becomes obsolete, we will truly live in nothing greater than a pure democracy which time and again has proven to be the worst type of democracy over the ages.  The Founding Fathers observed this danger, as explained in the Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers, in the Ancient Greek democracies.  Sadly, the 17th Amendment has also contributed to this convergence towards pure democracy.  Originally, the founders, after much debate came to the conclusion in 1787 (Connecticut Compromise) that the legislative branch should be composed of two bodies of representatives; the first, being the House and the other being the Senate.  They were of the opinion that this would alleviate the tension between larger and smaller states (population wise) and largely give each each state equal representation even though the populations of each may vary dramatically.  It is to be seen thus that the House was composed of representatives directly elected by the people whereas the Senate was to be composed of representatives of the States not directly elected by the people which was how the Founding Fathers envisioned.

 

So why is the 17th Amendment so bad?  Well, because the 17th Amendment now allows the Senators to be directly elected by the people, they are no longer financially tied to the State they represent; rather, they now largely rely and give into lobbyists.  This has many implications, so while the people may think they are represented because they directly elect a Senator, the truth of the matter is that this "representation" is an illusion given the large influence the lobbyists have.  Moreover, the people, through directly electing their state representatives have in essence, no need to directly elect their Senators, the state representatives they voted for would ultimately decide who would be sent to the Senate to represent the State.  The original intent of the Founding Fathers was to create essentially an indirect system of voting for Senators.

 

For more information see this article from the Mises Institute:

https://mises.org/library/repeal-17th

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