This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
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Electoral College Battle: How Did We Get Here?
In 2012 when I was running for State Senate in Florida’s 31st district, I gave a speech about how Rick Perry, a candidate for president at the time, was wrong about abolishing the popular vote for the Senate. I believed, mainly because of college indoctrination, that the popular vote was a better way to make sure that the individual’s voices were heard in the public debate.
I was wrong. Though my speech and this apology will likely mean little to Secretary Perry, it is still important that I join the cause to restore bicameral government to the United States of America. We still have time to save the republic from mob rule, and it is something that everyone who claims to be a conservative should be pushing their senators, their representatives, their state legislature and their president to do.
The Blunder of Bicameralism
First, we need to discuss the meaning of bicameralism. In school, we were taught that bicameralism meant our government had two houses, kind of like a camel (Bactrian) has two humps. This would have been true prior to the 17th Amendment, but now our government still is a camel but only has one hump!
An unforeseen result of the 17th Amendment was the radicalization of the Senate.
The Senate is basically now a House of Representatives seat that you keep for six years. Bicameralism not only means that there are two chambers, but it also means that each chamber of Congress represents a specific interest. The House of Representatives, we know, represents the will of the people. This is the democratic element of our representative democracy.
The part that we forget, and is not taught in school any longer, is the purpose of the Senate which is to represent the interest of the state as an entity, not the individual voter. When the 17th Amendment turned the Senate into a popularity contest, we lost this state interest and our nation suffered.
Radicalization of the Senate
An unforeseen result of the 17th Amendment was the radicalization of the Senate. It was understood when the 17th Amendment was passed that the Senators would begin pandering to the popular vote; however, what was not foreseen was the “popular vote” would become code for “special interest groups.”
While the fringes of the House are a squabbling gaggle of extremists on both sides, the core of the Congress is still moderate, though they are cowards and vote with the Party rather than the people most of the time. The Senate, however, has become the chamber of radicals. On both sides of the aisle, Senators are pandering to their preferred lobbyist, the Super Political Action Committees (PACs) and the extreme base that votes in the primary. The 17th Amendment was a failed experiment. An experiment we need to correct.
One of the reasons that the 17th Amendment was such a failure is because of the composition of our country. Prior to the 17th Amendment, any senator appointed by the Governor had to go through a confirmation hearing by their state’s legislative body. This was an effective way to weed out the radicals and ensure that the Senator would represent the interests of the State, not lobbyists.
One of the best features of this system is that Senators did not run for office, thus no funding obligations. Without this check and balance, the mob now gets to cast a puppet vote for whichever Senator gets the most money from lobbyists and PACs.
The Assault on the Electoral College Began with the 17th Amendment
How does this relate to the question of the electoral college? The assault on the electoral college began with the 17th Amendment, even though we did not know it. These United States are federated sovereign bodies that cast their vote for a Chief Executive, not a democracy that allows the mob to choose “king for a day.” The purpose of this is to keep mega-cities, like New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, from taking the rights away from the regions that are called “flyover country.”
Under the current system, every American has a voice. If you do not like the amount of voice you have in your state, move to another state. When the 17th Amendment took away the rights of states to be represented in Congress, we lost the representative part of our representative republic. We need to take it back.
Sign Petition to Bring Government Reform
So, how do we deal with this? I have set up a change.org petition to restore the appointment of senators by a stable process. This process also moves that we place term limits on all major members of the three branches of government. In one of those, the Executive Branch, the President already has term limits. We also move that there be campaign finance reform, so that all money must come from the United States and any PAC or Super PAC that receives money from corporations or international sources may not contribute to any campaign. Hopefully, this will limit the “election interference” of foreign money. In doing so, we can give power back to the people and the states while limiting the influence of special interest groups, lobbyists, and PACs.
Amendment XXXX: Restoration of the Republic
Section 1: The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, appointed by the governor of that state and confirmed by the State Senate, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures.
The Governor may only appoint one Senator from any given political Party, which must be a recognized as such by that state’s board of elections. In addition, any appointee must have been a member of his or her political Party for a period of no less than 12 years prior to the appointment.
This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution.
Section 2: No person shall hold any office in the Executive, Legislative or Judicial Branch of the United States Government for a period of more than 12 years. Representatives and the President of the United States shall be limited to a period of eight years. Judges and Justices must tender their resignation at the end of their 12th year, at which point they may be appointed to higher office, should the Constitution permit. No member of any branch may move to a lower office after reaching the term limit in a given office.
Section 3: Campaign Reform Clause
In any campaign for any office in the United States, appointed or elected, no donations may come from any source other than individual American citizens. Donations by corporations, special interest groups, community groups, political groups or foreign actors are prohibited. Corporations, special interest groups, community groups, and political groups may still produce advertisements for a candidate, candidates or political parties, but may not directly contribute any political candidate. Advertisements in this regard shall be limited to $250,000,000 per year. Foreign actors (i.e. – governments, companies, funds, or individuals) may not contribute nor advertise in American Elections. Companies that knowingly or recklessly use the advertisements and/or candidates that knowingly or recklessly accept money from foreign sources can immediately be impeached upon prima facie evidence.
For the apportionment of electoral votes and the apportionment of Representatives, only voting age citizens of the United States, who are not felons or on welfare, are counted. No state shall have more than 25 electoral votes in a given cycle and if the population of voting age people, who are not felons or on welfare, should exceed the total population which would allow for the apportionment of 25 the state shall be split, by referendum in that state, in the next election into no more than five independent states.
Section 4: Enactment
This Amendment will go into effect at the end of the calendar year in which it received the requisite number for ratification. No person serving in the government affected by this bill, with the exception of Judges and Justices, will have to relinquish his or her seat until the end of their current term.