Idaho's Weekly Journal of Local & National Commentary Week 2815


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by Free Market Duck

The One Thing

By Ralph Perez
(March 25, 2010)

Boise, ID -- Old Curly from the movie City Slickers liked to talk about “the one thing”. In trying to figure out why our country is so far off the right track, I tried to identify “the one thing”. Could there really be one thing?

   Believe it or not there is.

   You hear people all the time saying Washington is broken. Well yes it is and we are the ones who broke it. By 1913, in the midst of the Progressive movement, we were convinced that the founding fathers didn’t have it quite right. That because of corruption at the state level, we needed to tinker with the fundamental structure and balance of powers laid out in our Constitution. Boy did we have it wrong. Our country had a cold, we prescribed the medicine, and now it has pneumonia and is in critical condition.

   So, what is the one thing?

   The Seventeenth Amendment to the Constitution!

   This has been the biggest mistake our country ever made in terms of undermining the limits of power which the federal government was granted by the states and by the people. It is necessary to understand the original hierarchy of power in our country to fully appreciate the effect this amendment has had.

The highest power was our “creator,”

Then the people,

Then the individual states,

Then the Federal Government.

   With rights granted by our creator, the people authorized the states to create the federal government, granting to it only the specific limited powers outlined in the Constitution and reserving back all other powers to the states and to the people. Fearful, and rightfully so, of a creeping, overreaching, and all powerful central government, our founders wisely placed a system of checks and balances to insure against this. We most commonly refer to these as the three “co-equal” branches of government:  Executive branch (the Presidency), Legislative branch (Congress) and the Judicial branch (Supreme Court). Only one of these, the Legislative branch, was intentionally made up of two separate bodies, the House of Representatives and the Senate -- both of which must agree before they can pass any laws.

   The House of Representatives is made up of representatives who are elected based on districts created in each state. The districts are based on population. Therefore, each representative is representing a similar amount of people within their respective districts. The more people in a state the more representatives that state has.  However, the representatives do not represent the state, they represent the “people”. This is why the House of Representatives is known as “The Peoples House”. Remember the hierarchy of power? After the people, comes the state. Therefore, to represent the interest, rights and authorities and, yes, the sovereignty of the individual states, the senate was created. Each state was given an equal number of representatives and two United States Senators. The Senators were to be chosen by each of the state’s legislatures. This was to insure their agency to the state.

   Madison, in Federalist #62, wrote that “The appointment of senators by state legislatures gives to state governments such an agency in the formation of the federal government, as must secure the authority of the former.”

   Moreover, said Madison, the mere “enumeration of [federal] powers” in the Constitution would never be sufficient to restrain the tyrannical proclivities of the central state, and were mere “parchment barriers” to tyranny.

   Structural arrangements, such as the appointment of senators by state legislatures, were necessary.

   Alexander Hamilton said; the election of senators by state legislatures would be an “absolute safeguard” against federal tyranny.

   George Mason believed that the appointment of senators by state legislatures would give the citizens of the states “some means of defending themselves against encroachments of the National Government.”

   Does any of this ring a bell in your head? Senators were never intended to be popularly elected by the people; otherwise, they would have simply created two Houses of Representatives, which is what we appear to have now.

   This fundamental change, more than anything, is why we find ourselves here today.

   We ask, why does the Federal Government disregard the authority and rights of the states? It’s because no one in Washington represents the states.

   That is exactly what was intended by the Progressives of the early 1900s. The argument was made that we needed to bring “Democracy” to the senate and remove the corrupt influences of the state legislatures. Smoke and mirrors my friends. They knew full well that over time this seemingly simple and “democratic” change would lead to the shifting of power from the states entirely to the Federal Government. The result is that in less than 100 years our founders would not even recognize the government they created. I take that back. They would recognize it. They would recognize it for the tyrannical central government they fought so hard to protect us from and hoped would never happen.

   Well, we have let it happen.

   Consequently, today we have a new hierarchy of power.  It is now:

The Federal Government,

Then, the states (because the states have become an extension of the Federal Government),

Then, the people.

   We have come full circle. Instead of a king; we now have an all-powerful and all knowing central government. Our supposedly sovereign states are now more like local governments implementing the dictates of the master Federal Government and we, the people, are looked at as ignorant subjects who do not know what is best for us and, therefore, must be controlled for our own good and for the good of the collective. We must forfeit our individual rights for the good of society as a whole.

   What crap!

   We must fight with every bone in our bodies to reverse this course.

   You want to get rid of the “special interest”, “big money” and corrupt party bosses influencing our congress? Remove them from the process at the federal level entirely by removing them from the process of selecting our United States Senators.

   By the way, not including the “Creator” [by the Progressives] in our new hierarchy was not an oversight on my part.

   In order for the Federal Government to impose 100% control over the citizens, there can be no creator.

   There is one last point to be made on this subject and it is not to be taken lightly. The United States Senate is the body in which all treaties and foreign agreements must be ratified or denied. If you care about the sovereignty of our states, you should be much more concerned about the sovereignty of our country, for it is in the United States Senate where it will be defended or forfeited. And make no mistake, this is the ultimate goal of the world government progressives.

   The Progressives pledge:

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the Federal Government of America, and to the Democracy for which it stands, one nation, of this world, indefensible with healthcare and social justice for all”.

   Let’s stop the madness. Repeal the Seventeenth Amendment to the constitution, while we still have a constitution to repeal it from.

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