For the last 100 years U.S. Senators have been elected by direct vote instead of being voted into office by state legislatures. Our Founders intended for the Senate chamber to be different from the House chamber by giving the less populous states a check against a majority tyranny from large population centers. This has been lost with the passage of the 17th amendment. Don’t hold your breath for repeal. The only amendment to ever be repealed is the 18th prohibition amendment, and it was only law for a dozen years instead of 100 years.
What would the US Senate look like today without the 17th amendment? There would probably be 62 Republican senators and 38 Democrat senators. Currently 25 states have Republican controlled governments, 13 states have Democrat controlled governments, and 12 states have divided governements.
Before anyone gets too excited contemplating this makeup, remember that Republican does not equal conservative. Ten years ago the Republicans had a majority in the U.S.Senate that lasted for four years. The majority of the Republicans were not conservatives. Today the Republican conservatives in the U.S. Senate are a minority of the Republican minority by a tally of 20 – 26.
The 2014 senate contests include 7 seats held by Republicans who are not conservatives, and 6 seats held by conservative Republicans. If consevatives could win 12 of these 13 contests, then that would send a shockwave through the senate and the whole country. If the Republicans pick up 5 more additional seats, then conservative Republicans would have a narrow majority of a Senate majority 26-25.
The voters in the states have got to make the ones they elect to the U.S. Senate accountable to their state legislatures. State legislatures could pass laws requiring the U.S. Senators elected from their state to meet in conference with them and listen to what their needs and desires are. They could still go back to DC and just ignore what they were told, but at least they are deliberately going against their state legislatures instead of pretending they didn’t know what they wanted.
Cross-posted at Unified Patriots