Illegal? ..

I have been told that it is illegal to “propose” a state constitutional amendment that would re-enfranchise the state’s counties by doing away with the “one man, one vote” mandate imposed by the Reynolds v. Sims decision handed down by the US Supreme Court.  A decision that destroyed the Republican form of government guaranteed to the states in the US Constitution.  My concept would be for every county to be represented in both houses in the state legislature as was the case in many states before SCOTUS found new unarticulated meaning in the US Constitution that negated state Constitutions.  To understand what was done we should review what republics and democracies are … issues that are fundamental to the mission of this blog … Saving the Republic!

In the first place, the United States of America is not a democracy, it is a federation of 50 small republics.  The original republics joined together to win their independence from a despotic tyranny imposed upon them from Great Britain in a conflict we know as the Revolutionary War.  In order to present an united front to their oppressor, they first met in two different congresses and then formed a government to prosecute the war under the Articles of Confederation.  After winning their independence, the Articles of Confederation proved to be too cumbersome to be a viable instrument to promote peace and harmony among the members of the Federation and to confront problems with foreign powers and external threats adequately.  A Constitutional Convention was convened to address the shortcomings of the Articles in 1787.

Most of what was discussed in the Convention is known thanks to notes taken by James Madison who is considered the “Father of the Constitution.”  The men who attended the Convention were, for the most part, highly educated, mostly home schooled or tutored, and then further educated in universities such as Harvard, Yale and Princeton.  This was the “Age of Enlightenment” where their course of study was the ancient classics from Greece and Rome, written in Greek and Latin, which were read in the original languages and, additionally, the writings of the then contemporary thinkers such as Edmund Burke, David Hume, John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, Jacques Rousseau, Adam Smith and Montesquieu.

All forms of government were discussed, but these men were already republicans.  Alexander Hamilton suggested a monarchy and was ignored.  No thought was given to democracies, because history shows that they, including the great Athenian democracy that you and I were taught to venerate, always fail.  This is  because, ultimately, the governed always vote themselves the treasury or are conned because of demagogic duplicity.  The only concession to democracy in the US Constitution is the political enfranchisement of the common man with the vote and that was a magnificent step, it was the first time in the history of man that the common person had a say in government.

The genius of the Constitution came in several stages.  First was to understand that the national government  was to be of limited scope with only specific powers where it was supreme; the limited and only powers of the Federal government were set down in Article I Section 8.  Second, following the wisdom of the Spartan Republic where no one man was to be long trusted with power, was the maxim of checks and balances; every branch of the government was in some way checked in its power by the exclusive powers of the other branches; the House is the paymaster, the Executive has the veto, the Senate has its advice and consent.  And the Judicial the sacred duty of making sure that the other two branches were acting within the bounds of their constitutionally prescribed authority.

The philosophical aim of the Constitution was to protect minorities from the “tyranny of the majority” and to protect the individual person, the tiniest minority, from having his inalienable rights trod upon by the exuberant exigencies of temporary “crises.”  All this while protecting the will of the majority to be realized.  This was done by recognizing that the individual states were unique and should be left to govern their own internal affairs.  The problems of the States, each co-equal, were to be represented by the Senate; the problems of the populace represented by the House of Representatives.  Since the States were co-equal, they each had two ambassadors, their Senators, who were to be elected by the state legislature.  Who better to pick these ambassadors than the elected representatives of the people of the state?  The President  was to be elected by the States; this process was addressed by the Electoral College.

When James Madison took this document back to Virginia, the then most populace state, his views were instantly challenged, most notably by Patrick Henry.  Henry was appalled that there was no constraint on the minions of the Federal government protecting the rights of man.  Madison argued that the new government was constrained by its specific powers granted in Article I Section 8 … Henry was adamant that the rights of man be made untouchable by the new government  … many agreed with him.  Madison, along with John Jay and Alexander Hamilton tried to sell the document through writing the magnificent “Federalist Papers.”  Henry and those who agreed with him, men like George Mason, Henry Lee, James Monroe, Melanchthon Smith and many others countered with the “Anti-Federalist Papers.”  The upshot was that in order to obtain ratification, Madison agreed to introduce the “Bill of Rights” in the first Congress and it was done.  Suffice it to say that the Constitution would be unthinkable today without the 10 articles in the Bill of Rights.

Reflection will inform you that the Bill of Rights, which already resided in many state constitutions and in the Articles of Confederation, was not just a constraint, but a negation of the ability of the minions of the Federal government, be they the Executive, the Legislative or the Judicial, to tinker with the rights of the States or the People at large; the Bill is the ultimate check on tyranny from the Federal government.  The US Supreme Court has historically slapped down the Executive and the Legislative for transgressions against these fundamental Freedoms.  But who checks the Supreme Court if it gets out of line?

The tenth article in the Bill of Rights, the 10th Amendment, says: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”  This article confirms that the State and the People, not the national government , are the supreme power in this union.  It was added so that there was an ultimate check upon un-delegated laws or interpretations of the Constitution, it is the vehicle by which any trend to tyranny by the Feds can be negated.  It applies to the Supreme Court as well as the two other branches.  In the final analysis it is the only check on tyranny from SCOTUS.  But who enforces the 10th Amendment?  It most certainly would not be the Federal Executive or Congress … it could be SCOTUS, but not when SCOTUS is the violator.  The States must be the watchdog and if we want to preserve the Republic, the States must act when the ugly head of tyranny arises.  The States must nullify Federal overstepping of the powers granted to them under the Constitution.  Has this ever been done?  Madison and Jefferson threatened it against John Adams’ Alien and Sedition laws with the result that they were withdrawn.  During Andrew Jackson’s time, South Carolina threaten it over tariffs on cotton, until the Federal government gave them relief.  States in the North nullified the Fugitive Slave Act, by refusing to comply with it.  The Dred Scott decision of SCOTUS was not implemented in the North and led to insurrection in some quarters and maybe was one of the causes of the Civil War.  Recently, we have the situation where states have legalized marijuana, flaunting Federal statutes to the contrary.  The simple fact is that the Federal government does not have police power sufficient subjugate the States and the People.  The Federal Posse Comitatus Act severely limits the possibility of the use of the Armed Forces.

There have always been enemies of our Republic since before the Revolutionary War.  Many people, then and now, believed and do believe in Statism, be it Monarchy, Progressivism,  Fascism, Socialism or some other form of a planned, command society.  The Founders made our Constitution amendable but difficult so as to not make mistakes by acting in haste.  And even then the process was not thorough enough, bear witness to the alcohol prohibition amendment and its withdrawal.  For the Statist, the process is too rigorous and because of their anti-republican prejudices, their goals are probably not popular enough to be successful.  The Statists have spent well over 100 years figuring out how to shortcut their ability to pervert the Constitution.  Their answer is to attack the weakest part of our government, the un-elected judiciary.  They have aspired to seat at least five “Progressives” on the Supreme Court, to pack the Federal District and Appeals Courts and to delegate the law making powers of Congress to the bureaucracy, among other more subtle gambits.  One of the tactics of the Progressives on the Supreme Court is to misinterpret the intent of Constitutional clauses like was done on the Commerce Clause in the infamous Wickard v. Filburn case.  But the most invidious tactic is the concept of the “living Constitution” propounded  by those who want to sidestep the Constitutional amendment process.  The proponents of this travesty read words into the Constitution which they profess  the Founders meant to say; or should have said; or what the document should say now in view of modern circumstances.  In other words these people can make the Constitution say anything they want. (Sounds like Karl Marx: “the end justifies the means.”)

The Congress immediately at the end of and following the Civil War, in 1866, went to great effort to bring the former slaves into the mainstream of civil society.  To do this, they enacted the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments.  The 14th Amendment enfranchised the former salves as full citizens under the law.  Those in opposition to this amendment argued long and hard that it was too broad and would be subject to misinterpretation.  There is vast documentation of those debates.  The proponents swore to the opposition that the amendment pertained to the blacks only and with that assurance the amendment was passed.  We fast forward 95 years to the Earl Warren supreme court with its assembly of progressive justices (Warren, Black, Douglas, Brennan, White, Goldberg, Clark and Stewart), all believers in the “living Constitution” and we find that they found the SCOTUS had the power under the Constitution to court mandate the reapportionment of state legislatures.  Nowhere in Constitution is there the slightest hint that that power existed.  The Justices were making up wording that fundamentally distorted its meaning.  In the first place, the Constitution in Article I Section 1 states that the Congress will make all laws.  If the Congress had passed such a law, under the 10th Amendment, it would have been un-Constitutional.  The Supreme Court has no Constitutional authority to make laws.  So we have a situation where the SCOTUS has enforced upon the States a decision by fabricating a law where there is no law to adjudicate, because such a law would be beyond the delegated powers, and have nullified one of the Bill of Rights citing phantom non-existent wording in our most revered document .  It is preposterous to believe that any state would have ratified the 14th Amendment if it meant that the Federal Courts could reapportion its legislature.  It is inconceivable that any state would condone the nullification of one of the Bill of Rights.

The attack on state reapportionment is far more insidious and subtle than first meets the eye.  If you take the time to read the scandalous Reynolds v. Sims decision, the dissent by Justice John Marshall Harlan II elucidates what I have said about the intent of the amendment.  The decision by the majority, if we read between the lines, informs us of the true nature of their effort.  The majority makes it plain that their intent was to cleanse state legislatures of representation from rural areas and small counties as much as possible, in particular the state Senators.  Additionally, we never reflect upon the effects of the 17th Amendment, a major attack on the Republic.  Under the Founders, US Senators were picked by the Legislature.  So whichever party controlled the Legislature sent their comrade to the US Senate.  Unarticulated was the republican reason for this.  It began in the counties where the citizens elected their state legislators.  As an individual, if you help elect that legislator, who was local and knowable, he in turn would know and associate with the US Senator who was beholden to the Legislature.  If you had a problem that required Federal action, all you had to do was to contact your friend the state Senator or House member and they could contact the US Senator for action.  A simple but effective demonstration of republican government in action.  Do you now or under a democracy would you have that kind of political access?

One man, one vote means domination by urban areas … the tyranny of the majority.  We can presently see this being carried to fruition in the once great agricultural state of California.  A republic means that all entities are represented … that the inherit  diversity is enjoyed by all.  In a democracy everyone votes on everything … are you an expert on everything?  Our founders lived in a country that was as urbanized as the one we live in now … but they understood that the cities depended upon the outlanders far more that the reverse.  A little reflection will inform you that if the outlands were cut off from the cities, the cities would very quickly disappear … but the outlands can sustain themselves.  Legislators from urban areas, no matter how well intentioned, are basically clueless about the exigencies of the rural areas while rural members actively communicate with the large cities.  Rural people go to town, but city people don’t participate in the sticks.   A case in point is the ecological protection of the delta smelt by the urban dominated California Legislature.  Their solution was to wash the smelt out of the San Francisco Bay to the sea, during a sustained drought, with 850,000 acre feet of fresh water, water used to irrigate the immensely fertile Great Central Valley.  850,000 acre feet of water would put over one foot of water over most major irrigation projects.  It was a catastrophe for California agriculture.  It would never have happened under republican government.

We, in this State, are seeing this same scenario raise its ugly head here.  Very soon half or more of Our population will reside in or around one of our smallest counties.  After the next census, One County could have as many as 18 members in the House of Representatives consisting of 70 members.  That coupled with a Second County, with the possibility of a dozen more, makes the State of These Two Counties possible … interestingly, this might be more palatable for the rest of Our State, rather than being dominated by that tiny area of burgeoning population.

So where are we?  My answer strikes to the heart of the problem … an amendment to Our Constitution providing for one Senator and at least one Representative from each county.  I have thought about it a lot and this is what I came up with:

Apportionment of the Legislature

of

 Our State

Be it resolved Hereby:

That we the citizens of the Our State shall apportion our Legislature, following the model of representation in the Federal system in the Congress of the United States of America and asserting the Guarantee of a Republican form of government as delineated in Article IV Section 4 of the Constitution of the United States of America so that:

The Senate of the Legislature of our State shall consist only of one Senator from each County of this State.

And:

The House of Representatives of the Legislature of the Our State shall consist of at least 70 members and members shall be adjudicated County by County on the basis that the number of citizens in each county bears to population of the whole of Our State, provided that no member may represent the citizens of more than one county, further that each county shall have at least one representative in the Legislature and provided further that no county may have more than 10 representatives.

This solution re-enfranchises rural areas, instantly does away with the present grotesquely gerrymandered legislative districts, gives manifestly fair representation to all parties and restores our republican form of government .  It is not necessary to expand the membership of the House, although it could be. (A bad idea, I think, because deliberative bodies need to be small enough for vigorous and cogent debate.)

Our Constitution needs to be amended.  After that, it is time to assert the 10th Amendment and do our part in stopping the socialization of our Republic.

The 10th Amendment tells us that beyond the specific powers granted to the Federal government or taken from the States under the US Constitution, all power belongs to the States or the People.  No Legislator need fear that he has done wrong if he presents this to the People and lets them decide at a fair election.

This is not partisan, but it is existential … will we live in Republic or a socialistic tyranny?

 

Posted in 1 Senator, 1 Representative, Lee's Musings | Leave a comment

Yes, Martha, There Really is a Deep State

In recent times we’ve heard much about something called the “Deep State.”  But if it truly exists, where is it?  Who lives there?  Who created it?  And who are its citizens?  In my lifetime I’ve visited forty-six of the fifty U.S. states and at least sixteen foreign countries and I have never found a sign welcoming me to the Deep State.  So, call me a “Deep State doubter” if you will… until now, that is.

In the Trump-Clinton political era it is clear that an entity known as the Deep State does exist.  Without it, much of the political intrigues of recent decades would not have been possible.  It has caused me to reflect on my own 55-year career in the political arena and has forced me to conclude that I have been a repeat victim of the Deep State.  I have finally become a believer.

For example, in 1968 I was contacted by the Nixon for President Committee, asking me to serve as regional field director for a five-state Midwest region. And although my immediate superiors approved, saying that, while several months away from my responsibilities as senior project engineer for a major oil company could only improve my resume and advance my career development, it would be wise to run the idea past the head of our Washington office… a former confidential assistant to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and a White House congressional liaison in the Eisenhower administration.

We followed that advice and within a week I found that I was deemed far too valuable to ongoing engineering projects to be away from my desk for any period of time.  Somewhere, somehow, my opportunity to move up in the political world had been deftly scuttled.

Four years later I served as a regional campaign manager for the Committee to Reelect the President in southeastern Pennsylvania.  In 1972, Richard Nixon not only wanted to win reelection, he wanted to defeat Senator George McGovern (D-SD) in an electoral landslide.  To accomplish that ambitious goal key regions were identified throughout the country, with each target region assigned a specific vote quota.

With a campaign organization of more than 600 (salaried and volunteers combined), the campaign in my region was a huge success.  When the votes were counted in November we found that we’d exceeded our 60% vote quota by nearly 10%, producing 70% of the vote for President Nixon.

No sooner was the election over than the stampede to re-staff the White House got under way.  The chairman of the Pennsylvania Republican State Committee, with the enthusiastic support of both Pennsylvania senators, Senate Minority Leader Hugh Scott and Richard Schweiker, recommended me for appointment to the White House staff.  After, undergoing two intensive interviews at the White House, one of which took place in the president’s hideaway office in the Old Executive Office Building, I was ultimately offered a position as a principal U.S. Department of the Interior representative to the Governor of American Samoa in the South Pacific.  It was not something I’d ever sought for myself and it occurred to me that some very powerful person might be trying to get me out of the way… but who?  I respectfully declined the offer.

In 1981, as Jimmy Carter moved out of the White House and Ronald Reagan moved in, my employer, the Sun Oil Company, was asked to loan two executive-level employees to the Reagan Administration for a period of two years.  As Director of State Relations and principal in-house political guru, I was one of the two chosen, along with the then-Director of Corporate Planning.  He was named a deputy director in the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), while I was slated to serve as a deputy to White House Counsel Ed Meese.

My Sun Oil associate moved to Washington and provided valuable service to the White House OMB staff for two years.  However, in spite of Ed Meese’s enthusiasm over the quality of my resume, my appointment was “misdirected” before I could arrive in Washington.

Finally, in January 1985, as Ronald Reagan re-staffed for his second term in the White House, I was recruited to serve as Special Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs by two senior members of the President’s Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Affairs.

Following two very successful interviews at the White House I was informed by the White House Political Director and the Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs that I was the “only candidate on a list of one.”  However, in spite of those assurances, I knew what it meant to pursue a position as an assistant or special assistant to the president of the United States.  It is a game of power politics – nothing more, nothing less – and whoever comes to the table with the biggest guns, at just the right moment, gets the job.  I was advised that, while I was the only candidate for the position, I would be well advised to recruit a top-level support team.

During the following weeks I concentrated on nothing else but recruiting my support team.  Having been through the presidential appointment wringer before, I didn’t want to take any chances, so my plan was to assemble the most influential support group that I could possibly attract.  By late March 1985, my support group included: Governor Dick Thornburgh (R-PA), a member of the President’s Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Affairs; Drew Lewis, former secretary of transportation and the president’s principal political advisor; Robert G. Dunlop, chairman emeritus, Sun Oil Company, fellow trustee of the University of Pennsylvania with White House Chief of Staff Donald Regan; Frank Fahrenkopf, chairman of the Republican National Committee; Senator H. John Heinz, chairman of the National  Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee; Senator Phil Gramm (D-TX), President Reagan’s favorite Democrat; Congressman Dick Schulze (R-PA), member of the House Ways & Means Committee; as well as the presidents and/or executive directors of three of Washington’s top conservative think tanks, two of whom were also members of the President’s Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Affairs.

It was a large support network.  It was also the most influential network I could possibly assemble.  Unfortunately, in the days following a phone call from the Director of the Office of White House Personnel, informing me that my appointment was finally being made, I received a terse letter from the White House.  White House Chief of Staff Don Regan had traded away my appointment to a member of Congress whose vote he needed that day.  Just one word from just the right person, at just the right time, was sufficient to wipe out an entire year of tireless effort.

By early December 1980, I was finally made aware of who it was who had taken it upon himself to “mismanage” my career development for so many years.  He was generally recognized as the “dean” of Washington oil lobbyists and a leading member of what we now know as the Deep State.

What has changed in recent times is that Deep State swamp creatures no longer lurk in the shadows of official Washington.  Instead, they now ply their trade out in the open, for all to see.

For example, in January 2017, the outgoing Director of National Intelligence, Gen. James Clapper, announced that it was the unanimous assessment of some 17 agencies of the U.S. intelligence community that Russian dictator Vladimir Putin had personally ordered the hacking of Democratic National Committee computers and the emails of Clinton campaign manager John Podesta.

That was to be the official storyline disseminated as fact by Democrats and by their allies in the mainstream media.  However, it flew in the face of a December 12, 2016 finding by a group of longtime intelligence professionals called Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), led by scientists William Binney, former NSA Technical Director for World Geopolitical & Military Analysis; Skip Folden, retired IBM Program Manager for Information Technology US; Ed Loomis, former NSA Technical Director for the Office of Signals Processing; Raymond McGovern, former U.S. Army Infantry/Intelligence officer and CIA analyst; and Kirk Wiebe, former Senior Analyst, SIGINT Automation Research Center, NSA.  The VIPS experts asserted that “we make our technical judgments based on given facts and do not speculate without a factual basis…”  They wished to know which “handpicked” analysts from the CIA, the FBI, and the NSA found that the Russians hacked into the DNC but provided no hard evidence.

According to the VIPS, “We have gone through the various claims about hacking.  For us, it is child’s play to dismiss them.”  What they found was that the email disclosures in question were the result of a leak to Wikileaks, not a foreign or domestic hack.  They found that, on the evening of July 5, 2016, 1,976 megabytes of data were downloaded from the DNC server.  The download took just 87 seconds, yielding a transfer rate of 22.7 megabytes per second.

According to the VIPS analysis, no Internet service provider available in mid-2016, was capable of downloading data at that speed.  To the contrary, VIPS analysts Folden and Loomis reported that a survey published August 3, 2016, by www.speedtest.net/reports indicated that the highest average ISP speeds of first-half 2016 were achieved by Xfinity and Cox Communications. These speeds averaged 15.6 megabytes per second and 14.7 megabytes per second, respectively, leading to one indisputable conclusion: since transfer rates in the neighborhood of 22-23 mbps were unattainable by a hacker anywhere on Earth, the theft of data from the DNC and Podesta computers was an inside job, downloaded to a USB-2 flash device, known as a “thumb drive.”

Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his band of Democrat hatchet-men continue the fiction that whatever steps the Russians took to damage Hillary Clinton’s electoral chances were taken as a means of electing Donald Trump.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  It is entirely possible that the Russian efforts were undertaken for the sole purpose of defeating Hillary Clinton, while Donald Trump was merely the unwitting beneficiary of their anti-Clinton animus.

Yes, Martha, there really is a Deep State, but there is also a very dangerous Shallow State, led by the likes of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, DNC Chairman Tom Perez, and party spokeswoman Maxine Waters.  They are enemies of the state and must sooner or later be dealt with as such.

Paul R. Hollrah is a retired government relations executive and a two-time member of the U.S. Electoral College.  He currently lives and writes among the hills and lakes of northeast Oklahoma’s Green Country.

 

 

Posted in Today's Misinformation | Leave a comment

American is not a Democracy ..

America is not a democracy … it is a republic.  This is not an accident.  The Founders of our country, those who wrote the Constitution, intended it to be that way.

Most of us were poorly served when we were instructed in civics.  Our teachers themselves had been taught by professors who were imbued with a century of Progressive propaganda aimed at distorting the meaning the Constitution and the clouding of the reasoning behind the tenants of that August document.  We are constantly told that America is a “democracy” … that we should venerate the idea that democracy is absolute equality, that “one man, one vote” is the utopian goal.  We are told by the purveyors of Progressive and Socialistic thought that elements of the Constitution are “anachronistic” (out of step with time); we are told that the electoral college that elects the President is a confusing dinosaur of the past that has no present usefulness; we are told that the Constitution is a “living” document; we are told that the “interstate commerce clause” was intended to allow the Federal government to regulate all business in all the States no matter where or how it is conducted; that the “supremacy clause” means that any State law can be overturned merely by passing a contrary Federal law; that the “general welfare clause” or “necessary and proper clause” empowers the Federal government to spend any amount of the people’s treasure to help the “disadvantaged.”  Are these and other intrusive actions in which the Federal government engages what the Founders of the Republic had in mind?

Consider the men who wrote the Constitution.  They were not exposed to the propaganda of massive newspapers and magazines.  There was no radio or TV blaring their incessant commercial yammering.  What they had, for this was the Age of Enlightenment, was the history of the travails of antiquity and the reality of their own times.  They knew about the governments of men, not only in their present, but of the triumphs and failures of the past.  There had never before been individual freedom anywhere on Earth and they were determined to save that freedom  for themselves and their posterity now that they had gained it.  These men had all been subject to the will of an autocrat.  Either they, their father or not too distant grandfather had fled from serfdom or deep tyranny, mostly from Europe, to this new place of hope.  They were all traitors to their beginnings … they were all revolutionaries, but most importantly they were all individuals that respected the individuality of their peers.

Their revolution had been overseen by a mostly anemic organization, the Continental Congress, but the war had been fought by volunteer militia from 13 separate Sovereign States.  After the war, these sovereign states continued on their separate ways, but because of shared common interests, they attempted a common national front before the rest of the world under the Articles of Confederation.  Under the Articles many of the problems among the states could be and were solved, take for instance the “Northwest Ordinances which allowed for the westward expansion of the country.  But there were many shortcomings among which were … the inability to finance the government; the inability to act in a timely fashion on issues of commerce and navigation; and the inability to provide for the common defense.  After a failed meeting in Annapolis, Maryland in 1786, leaders, including Madison, Hamilton and Washington, decided to meet in Philadelphia in May of 1787 to address the problems and suggest solutions.  Very soon after the meeting convened, the delegates mutually consented to attempt a radical overhaul.  Thus began the epic meeting that lasted, overcoming many contentious debates, from May 14 to September 17, 1787.

What were the issues?  Of course the main consideration was to protect individual freedom.  Secondarily, they had to devise a national government to promote harmony among the States and with foreign governments and to protect their common interests from outside influences and dangers.

Because the members had a “classical education,” they had become experts in comparative government, and because they knew what had happened in the past, they, to a man, distrusted mass democracy.  They opted instead for a Republic of limited governmental powers.  A national Republic of State Republics wherein the individual voter democratically elected from among those he knew or could know, his peers, those of known integrity to represent him at the state level and through those legislators or electors, the Senate of the national government.

There hadn’t been many democracies in the past, but those that had existed had all devolved into chaos, the most notable being the example held up to us by our teachers as being a beacon of freedom, Athens.  Perhaps the Founders distrusted democracy because many of them had studied the Greek language and knew that the word, democracy, could be translated as “mob rule.”

So if you believe in the individual and distrust the crowd, will democracy work anywhere and if so where?  The answer is that democracy works and is fair where there is reasonable discourse.  It works in small groups where all can participate, like the town hall meeting, the coffee klatch, the school board and the commissioner’s meeting or small bodies like the Houses of the Legislature.  It works in those places where people are willing to give and take and are willing to cede some of their individual interests to the majority will of their immediate community for their own security.  But consider the fairness of a majority vote in a large stadium full of people where the issue is contrary to your own personal interests.  Chances are that you will have no personal input in this scenario, or if you do, your voice and interests are lost in a sea of other people’s voices and interests, generally in issues in which you may have no cause.  Since you do not well know the motivations or needs of the others, isn’t it likely that you will follow the lead of some “expert?”  In ancient Athens there were those experts, the demagogues.  This word translates to “mob teacher.”  Now, common sense will tell you that the demagogues will plead to the crowd in their own self interest in order to gain power or fame.  Always have and always will.  Common sense also suggests that the unscrupulous teacher might lie, stretch the truth, omit, slander, obfuscate or otherwise distort to gain his point.  This was the experience in Athens.  As the story goes, the assembly would require you to drink poison hemlock one day and then build a statue to you the next, all depending upon the message of the last speaker.   And so it goes today … “I will close Guantanamo my first day in office;” “if you make less than $250,000, I will not raise your taxes one dollar;” “you can keep your present health care policy;” “unemployment will never go over 8%.”  And on and on.  Our Constitutional Founders knew the scenario well and feared it … you can read about it in the Federalist papers and in the histories of the Convention.

James Madison and his fellow Virginians opened the Convention by proposing a three branched Federal government where the executive, legislative and judiciary were all elected popularly.  If you think about it, under this arrangement, it was only necessary for Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Charleston to vote, because that is where the majority of the population resided.  (By the same token, the entire western United States could be democratically represented today by the votes of San Diego, LA, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, and Denver)  The suggestion was not well received by the Convention.  Why would or maybe how could the “small states” participate in such a scheme?  Where was the protection for the interests of the States?  An answer soon came from the small states, New Hampshire, Delaware, New Jersey and Connecticut.  The President would be elected by the popular vote in each state, state by state; the Congress would have two houses, the Senate to represent the interests of the States and the House of Representatives would represent the interests of the people.  The Senate would have two members from each state regardless of the size of the state; the House would have members in proportion to each state’s proportion of the total population with the caveat that each state would have at least one member, so that no state was precluded from representation in that body.  The Senate was to be elected by the state legislatures.  Since Senators were, in essence, ambassadors from the state to the national government and since, in addition to their legislative duties, they were to supplement the executive by ratifying both treaties and the appointment of members of the judiciary, it was thought that they needed longer terms of office that would span several Congresses and the term of the President.  This was done in order to enable them to be free of momentary exigencies in their deliberations.  Since the legislatures that elected them, in most states, changed every two years, the terms of the Senators were staggered so that those in office more accurately reflected the views of the Legislature.

It has often been said that the Constitution is a document of genius.  The genius is in the division of powers.  Each of the three arms of government has Constitutional controls of some nature over each of the others.  This is also manifested in more subtle “checks and balances.”  The Congress is constrained by the necessity of legislation having to be passed by both bodies; the Senate by the fact that any appropriations must originate in the House; the executive and judiciary by the fact that the legislative must pay them; the President has his veto, but the Congress can override him. And if any or all of the branches of the Federal government should take on powers not delegated to them, after the adoption of the 10th Amendment, the States can reject their actions. Any study of the Constitution informs us of the aforementioned, but we must look more deeply to discover why our system has been so successful.

Looking deeper into the problem, we were never informed as to the political benefits of this system.  How did it enfranchise the individual?  It is without question that the persons selected by this process to the United States Senate would always be among the most ardent advocates for their particular state.  That is because they would be selected for that high office by the most honored members of the state’s local communities, the legislators.  The individual legislators, in turn, had been democratically elected from communities where they were not only known, but were leaders.  The individual voter knew or could easily know the local legislator, because the legislator was, like himself, a visible participant in local affairs.  The avenue for the individual to make his vote count for something was to be an active participant in local political and civic institutions.  By doing this, the individual could know and communicate with his local representative … the local representative would then know the individual and could use that person’s expertise and experience as a resource. Symbiosis!  If candidates for the United States Senate were to campaign locally, it is probable that the interested local individual would come to know their stances on issues, but not likely that he would ever know the candidate’s true character … but his friend, the legislator would.  Through this truly republican mechanism, now gone up in the smoke of the 17th Amendment, the individual had a direct personal link from himself to the floor of the United States Senate.  As the system stands now with “one man, one vote” the individual’s vote disappears into a black morass of yeas or nays with no one responsible for the veracity of his efforts.  The 17th Amendment coupled with court mandated re-apportionment has destroyed the once vibrant institution of local and state politics.

It has been claimed that the 17th Amendment was instituted, among other reasons, because sometimes the state legislature was unable to come to an agreement as to who should serve.  As a result some seats were vacant for a considerable period of time.  This indeed did happen.  The fact is that if the legislature of the state could not agree, it may well have been better to not send an ambassador to the Senate at all.  Of course, the legislature apprehending this problem could have easily provided a method by which that fault could have been cured if they had wanted.  But it was not a disaster … why send someone with whom you do not agree?  And as always happens when dealing with the Federal government, the beast was its self the cause of the problem; in 1866 the Congress had passed a law that forbade the seating of a Senator who had not received a majority vote of the Legislature.  Leaving this law un-enacted would have guaranteed that a plurality could have elected Senators and the issue of vacancy would have never arisen.   Interestingly, another manifestation of this check to the system follows thusly: if the political content of the legislature changed between the elections of the Senators so, presumably, would the philosophy of the new Senator.  In this case, the votes between the two would have cancelled … giving the same political result that would accrue if the state had no Senator at all.

It also has been scurrilously alleged that the 17th Amendment was adopted to end the practice of the bosses, the rich and the influence peddlers who were allegedly bribing state legislators for their votes in Senatorial elections.  This allegation is an unconscionable attack on the integrity of not only state legislators, but upon the Legislatures themselves.  At the time of the debates on adoption of the 17th Amendment, US Senator Weldon Heyburn, from the State of Idaho, commented, “I should like to see some Senator rise in his seat and say that the legislature of his state which elected him was not competent, was not fit, was not honest enough to be trusted.  Then I should be interested to see him go back and say ‘I am a candidate for re-election.’ ”

It is a matter of provable record that bribery or corruption was alleged in only 15 senatorial contests from 1789 until 1913 with only 7 Senators being denied their seats.  In that time 1180 men were elected Senator.

So what do we have now?  The United States Congress has two popularly elected bodies.  In the name of democracy there is no longer a check on “popular sovereignty;” the Senate no longer represents the interests of the State; the Legislature no longer has any viable ambassador to check the actions of the Federal government; the popular actions of the House are no longer balanced by a Senate composed of members with a different agenda; … Congress is essentially a unicameral body.

And is the process better?  What could be more corrupt than the lobbyists that the Senator meets each day, in his comings and goings from the chambers of the Senate, being his biggest campaign contributors?  Today, the least expensive Senatorial campaign is a multi-million dollar affair.  Carpet bagging is rampant … how does an Arkansas lawyer become a Senator from New York State? … Or for that matter a rich politician from the home of the “Red Socks” serve New York?  In States where the elections are less expensive, the exceedingly wealthy suddenly appear to rescue the “uninformed.”  And if the candidate is not articulate enough to be a demagogue, the media, the newspapers, radio, TV and now the internet do it for him.  Elections that should take only a small part of one legislative day and cost very little are now contested for a year or more and cost millions of dollars of in-state and more ominously out-of-state money.  Ask yourself which system lends itself to more corruption?

The democratic republic envisioned by our Founding Fathers has been attacked and severely wounded.  The political process in this nation is disintegrating into the “mob rule” so feared by our forefathers.  The Founders created “a more perfect union” of very limited, albeit important, powers to protect the essence of the American Revolution … the States and their People.  Let us repeal the 17th Amendment as the first and most important step in restoring our Republic.  This can be done by forming a truly representative Legislature, one where every political subdivision, the Counties, has a voice.  The answer is to have a state legislature where each County has a Senator and at least one Representative  … where the diversity of problems of the land and the People is represented.

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