"... this is going to be a hard sell to the American public which has come to believe that the key to an open government is more and more transparency and direct accountability of officials, where more and more citizen votes means better and better government. "Leaving aside the issue of Federalism (which I do think is the larger and more important concern), I'll take a whack at the flip-side of the political machine's favorite 'reform', the Popular Vote. The "Popular Vote" argument is that anything but direct democracy takes away peoples right to express themselves, and the proregressive's are quick to jump onto that bandwagon.
"“For nearly one hundred years, we the people have picked our Senators. But Ken Buck proposed a radically different idea. Buck said he wanted to rewrite the Constitution to let state legislators pick our Senators instead of voters. That’s right. Ken Buck actually proposed ending our right to vote for our own Senators. Rewriting the constitution? Ending our right to vote? Ken Buck's just too extreme for Colorado.""I've a question for the promoters of the "Popular Vote": Why do they want you to have so little influence?
They say that everyone should have a right to cast their vote for their U.S. Senator. Well, why just one (legal) vote? Just one single solitary vote amongst millions? How much of a voice does a face in a crowd have? Why do they want those of you who have concerns about your state, to have so little influence over the election of your United States Senator?
What do I mean?
Well, thanks to the 17th Amendment (which, btw, DID rewrite the Constitution), a Senator no longer needs to worry about a handful of state representatives - yours - they no longer need to worry about those people who intimately know the real interests of your state, holding them accountable for their votes in D.C. No, now they only have to worry about using a political machine to mouth attention getting sound bytes to millions of voters at a distance, knowing full well that if they can convince enough wealthy contributors to fund plastering their (too often) meaningless drivel around the state, they won't ever have to engage in anything more substantial than having to smile on a tractor, or in a diner, or even blatantly mislead you (yes Mr. Blunt, we will remember) - so they can collect your vote and then cast those votes their machines wealthy contributors will appreciate.
On the other hand, with the old way, the system which our Founding Father's set up, before the 17th Amendment, a Senatorial candidate had to work hard to convince a relative handful of people - Missouri has 34 Senators and 163 Representatives - that they could, and would, do what those knowledgeable people considered to be in you and your state's best interests.
And two of those legislators were answerable to you,. That means that once upon a time you had an opportunity, through your State Senator, to be one of only several tens of thousands (80,000 in my district) and one of only ten or twenty thousand people your State Representative had to answer to (19,000 in mine) – in comparison to being only 1 out of millions, that is a significant difference - and both of your legislators votes, and their influence among their fellow legislators, would be of significant concern to anyone who wanted to be your United States Senator.
In other words, if you were concerned about an issue affecting your state, you could easily make your State Rep & Sen uncomfortably aware of your position. Most state capitols are only a couple hours or less drive away, it's not too difficult to set up an appointment to see your State Senator or Representative, or even just to drop in on them when in session, as I have done. When out of session they probably live in a neighborhood near by, my outgoing Rep lives 2 subdivisions away, and the one who will take his term limited place lives just around the corner from me and my State Senator lives just a few miles away; setting up a meeting with one or both of them, or even just picking up the phone and calling, is not that tough.
If for some reason your legislators tried dodging you, with the help of a few others across your area - people concerned and informed about an issue - you and your fellows could quickly make yourselves known to them.
Vocal local voters are a big concern to State politicians - not so much to those in D.C.
The point is, any reasonable citizen can easily make their views known to their state legislators, and through simple phone calling and emailing efforts at little or no cost, you could have a very significant voice in the election of your United States Senator.
But... as it stands now... you are stuck with being just one anonymous vote amongst millions in an argument of soundbytes.
Did these ‘popular vote’ enthusiasts ever think of that? If so, knowingly relegating your voice to relative insignificance... don't they have some explaining to do?
If they didn't think of that... if they're that uninformed (might I suggest beginning with Federalist #'s 51, 62 and 63, to start with) about a topic they actively – and ignorantly - promote - that makes them the fools that sound byte politics were designed to move the masses with.
Like I said.
They're Damned if they didn't think of it... and they should most assuredly be Damned if they did.
(Originally posted at "24th State")