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Today's Bad Constitutional Amendment of the Day is Amendment XVII, which requires that Senators be elected by popular vote. There currently isn't much debate over Seventeen, and most people couldn't even tell you what it changed. Seventeen was passed in 1912 and ratified in 1913. It was passed to try to bring the government closer to the people, and the people closer to a true democracy. Previously, Senators were appointed by state legislatures, and there were procedural problems with deadlocked legislatures, unable to agree on a Senator. There were also allegations that legislatures could be easily corrupted. While Seventeen cleared away these problems, it created many more.

First, the popular election of Senators created all sorts of campain finance problems. With the passing of
Seventeen, senators were immediately beholden to special interests, and large campaign contributors. While this influence was recently addressed with the McCain-Feingold law, both Senators and special interests have been busy finding ways around it.

Seventeen also dealt a serious blow to state's rights. With states removed from the federal process, the checks
and balances the states had over the federal government was limited. The federal government not only began to expand uncontrollably, but it was empowered to impose its will over the individual states. Over time, mandates were imposed on the states, and the fed took control over some state institutions.

With the removal of checks and balances over the legislative branch, states were also removed from the
federal judicial process. With states no longer having an influence on the selection of federal judges, Seventeen also destroyed the checks and balances over the judicial branch.

With the Florida election problems of 2000, and now 2002, there is a movement to disband the electoral
college, and the checks and balances states currently have over the executive branch. This will remove the final check and balance states have over the federal government, and bring America closer to true democracy. While many people don't understand the difference between a democratic republic, and a true democracy, our founders understood the dangers of a true democracy and purposely established a representative government.

Democracy is a dangerous form of mob rule, where the will of the majority outweighs the rights of the
individual. To borrow an example from the great Dr. Williams, how would you like it if democracy decided whom you were to marry, or where you were going to work. You'd probably object, wanting to make those decisions for yourself. Democracy is also dangerous in that it lends credibility to immoral acts. You need only look as far as Zimbabwe to see that a majority of the people should not be allowed to impose will over the minority, just because they voted on it first.

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delascabezas
The Son of the last of a long line of thinkers.
delascabezas.com

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