History of the 17th Amendment and Why it must be Repealed

When the United States of America first incorporated, 13 sovereign states united as a confederacy. To understand a confederacy, one must first learn the qualities of a federation.

A federation is defined as the formation of political unity, with a central government, by a number of separate states, each of which retains control of its own internal affairs. The key to understanding a federation is the term central government.

A confederacy is defined as an alliance between persons, parties, states, etc., for some purpose. The prefix con comes from the Latin word contrā meaning in opposition, against. A confederacy is as an alliance of states for a common purpose without a strong central government.

Our founding fathers experienced a corrupt strong central government under Britain’s King George III. That strong central government abrogated English common law applicable to all British citizens. I refer the reader to the U.S. Declaration of Independence, the list of 27 grievances. The 23rd grievance states, “He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

The confederate weak central government was assigned only three powers under the Articles of Confederation in 1777:

  1. Coordinate resources for the war against Britain
  2. Create money
  3. Foreign affairs (ambassadors, treaties, administer western British lands beyond the borders of the 13 states)
  4. Settlement of disputes between states

Each state had one senator (my word for the lone representative from each state).

The Confederacy Failed.

At a constitutional convention of the 13 states in Philadelphia in 1787. The objective of the convention was to fix the confederate constitution. However, elderly Benjamin Franklin spawned a spiritual revival that moved the delegates to pray and attend church in search of God’s wisdom. The product of that spiritual revival was the creation of our present-day U.S. Constitution.

The federal republic formed in 1787 retained senatorial representation of the 13 states and added a House of Representatives to balance state sovereignty with the populations of the several states.

Senators were appointed by the state legislatures to represent the states, two from each state, and representatives of the people were elected by the people of the states.

Due to perceived problems with the state legislatures unable to agree on a senate appointment and legislative deadlocks, the people decided they could better select U.S. Senators by popular vote.

The problem was not the legislatures; the problem was the people were not holding state lawmakers accountable. The problem has not gone away.

Many Texas lawmakers of the 21st century are as easily corrupted today as they were in the 20th century.

The Texas legislature today has 31 State Senators and 150 State Representatives. If the 17th Amendment were repealed, each of our two U.S. Senators would be accountable to 181 members of the Texas Legislature. But, this is not the case.

Our State’s population, as of this date, is 30,097,526. Obvious to the most casual observer, U.S. Senators are not accountable to the people of the state of Texas or any of the other states with large populations, listed in order: California, Texas, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Ohio, Georgia, North Carolina, and Michigan.

I and other Texas Republican voters have submitted proposed planks to the state GOP platform, over several cycles of general elections, to repeal the 17th Amendment.

Stone arches are formidable physical structures. They were employed by Roman engineers over many years and most stand today as testimonies to structural engineering.

It is the keystone of the arch that holds it together. If the keystone be removed, the arch will collapse.

Government corruption in our nation’s capital is far stronger than the general public knows. In the cases of the ten most populous states, senators effectively represent themselves, with a few exceptions. In general, the most formidable task of each U.S. Senator is fundraising. OpenSecrets follows the money and reports on the top interest groups of 2022 contributing to their campaigns.

Naturally, fund-raising occupies much of a Senator’s time. Since 2017, Senator John Cornyn has raised  $34,161,045 and spent $35,911,196. He has cash on hand of $1,146,489.

Since 2012, Senator Ted Cruz has raised $18,383,145 and spent $16,771,915. He has cash on hand of $1,313,228.

Imagine how little a Texas U.S. Senator would have to raise if appointed by the Texas Legislature. Fortunately, our to Senators are generally in tune with Texan values. But, it’s a different story in states like California, New York, and Michigan.

“But, the Texas legislature doesn’t always represent the people of Texas.”, you may say. I say you are correct. We live in an imperfect world. No group of human lawmakers will ever be ideal. Our Founding Fathers were the exception.

The republican form of government retains the power of the people to hold elected representatives accountable. Education is essential to this form of government. Public education has not adequately taught students civics, choosing instead to focus on social engineering.

I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education.”Thomas Jefferson, Letter to W. C. Jarvis, September 28, 1820

Let’s labor to repeal the 17th Amendment to assure our republic survives for future generations.

John White
Rockwall, Texas

Published by John White

A lifetime (over 50 years) of experiences with automation and control systems ranging from aerospace navigation, radar, and ordinance delivery systems to the world's first robotic drilling machine for the oil patch, to process-control systems, energy management systems and general problem-solving. At present, my focus is on self-funding HVAC retrofit projects and indoor air quality with a view to preventing infections from airborne pathogens.

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