Before the 17th amendment, as per the US Constitution state legislatures duly elected their Senators. Many people do not know this. Those who drafted the US Constitution and the states that ratified it understood the ramifications of electing officials at large. The House of Representatives has always elected officials at large. By doing so giving way to a more hostile, rambunctious and special interest environment. There is an inherent vulnerability for at-large elections. Special interests have an incentive to pick their favorite politician and throw big money at them. “You scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours.” Senator Heidi Heitkamp is doing a good job at demonstrating a post-17th Amendment era.
The originalist model for Senators eliminated the whole need for campaign contributions altogether since state legislatures elect them. The 17th amendment was a huge blow to the federalist system and gave way to run away government spending, borrowing, and corruption. Instead of state legislatures, and ultimately the people having a voice in the determination of Supreme Court Judges, Military Intervention or any other pressing issue, the highest bidders hold power. The founders knew the dangers of politicians and a powerful centralized government. Hence, the most important feature of the originalist federalist system was the ability for state legislatures to unilaterally at any given time, remove their Senator. The 17th amendment increases moral hazard, special interest power and removes accountability.
Senator Heidi Heitkamp
Senator Heidi Heitkamp has received the most campaign contributions in Q1 in North Dakota history. In Q1, Heidi has raked in $1.6 million, which is also leading the nation in most Q1 contributions. Of that large haul, only 6.8% came from North Dakota. The case with Heidi Heitkamp isn’t unique; both parties sell out to the highest bidder. However, Heidi is part of the idiotic enclave that has no philosophical foundation (much like the rest of DC) that repeats her party’s garbage talking points about “Dark Money” “Special Interests” “Citizen United.”
There is an evident and inherent problem with special interests and other organizations that are buying influence, but if you’re going to point out the problem of special interest, you would think you would make a point of not becoming part of the problem. The 17th Amendment gave rise to Senator Heidi Heitkamp, massive spending, debt, and corruption. It is time for repeal and to make politicians like Heidi, unemployed.
Repeal the 17th Amendment
Would repealing the 17th Amendment solve all of our problems? Absolutely not, those with nefarious agendas will always find a way to take root in politics and government. There is a reason why big money is thrown around to secure crony capitalist plights and to have the use of force in their favor. However, repealing the 17th Amendment would be a good start to turning the ship of corruption and zero accountability around. Restoring the originalist function of electing Senators would change the political landscape.
Repeal would make individuals have more power when electing their state legislators. It would also take power from the Federal Government and decentralize it to the states. State legislatures would have skin in the game sort to speak. If they elect a demagog or dangerous imbecile, they would have an incentive to remove them. If not, re-election for district legislators will be difficult. Not to mention wouldn’t it be great to see less campaign lies and nonsense from politicans? Repeal would also provide a means against an overreaching centralized system. The federalist system was done so to establish a set of checks and balance. However, as time has shown leaving government to regulate themselves cannot ever work, even with “the right people” in office.