Skip to comments.The real reason the progressives sought after the 17th amendment
Posted on 05/14/2021 8:30:02 AM PDT by ProgressingAmerica
Progressives hate the states.
You see, I could end the blog post right there and nothing else need to be said, but I want to back up that statement anyways. It is the truth after all. Progressives hate the states. They've been telling us this directly and indirectly for our entire lives and theirs. First though, I want to point out the importance of senatorial elections in the first place. At the convention, Elbridge Gerry made the following comment: (July 19th)
Mr. GERRY. If the Executive is to be elected by the Legislature he certainly ought not to be re-eligible. This would make him absolutely dependent. He was agst. a popular election. The people are uninformed, and would be misled by a few designing men. He urged the expediency of an appointment of the Executive by Electors to be chosen by the State Executives. The people of the States will then choose the 1st. branch: The legislatures of the States the 2d. branch of the National Legislature, and the Executives of the States, the National Executive. This he thought would form a strong attachnt. in the States to the National System. The popular mode of electing the chief Magistrate would certainly be the worst of all. If he should be so elected & should do his duty, he will be turned out for it like Govr. Bowdoin in Massts. & President Sullivan in N. Hamshire.
By making the states the vehicle for electing your senator, the Founding Fathers were looking (among other things) to make sure you still loved your state. So, if you consider yourself to be an American and only an American, you are not really all that close to the Founding Fathers compared to, say, if you consider yourself to be a (insert state here) Texan first and an American second.
Are you a Virginian first and an American second? That's who the Founders were. Gerry with his strong attachment to his state would've been a Massachusettsian first and an American second.
Now, as to the progressives. At the time of the 17th amendment and the de-coupling of our senators from the state legislatures, the big argument at the time was corruption. Corruption this, corruption that, corruption corruption corruption! Except, progressives are dishonest, and progressive leadership meant corruption another way.(I'll explain below) To the average rabblerouser out in the streets of 1905 or whenever clamouring for direct election of the senators, yes, sure this guy has no clue of what progressive leadership is aiming at. To him, he sees all these left wing media reports about this representative and that representative being bribed, so all he knows and thinks is that if he can directly vote for his senator, that will solve the problem. It's a very surface level, not-well-thought-out problem/solution equation.
But to progressive leadership, where they are thinking in 50 year-100 year or longer increments, they could care less about bribes. They themselves bribe and seek to be bribed. The progressives, and I'm going to quote one in a minute here, they love big national government that can force you to live how they want you to live. The bigger government is, the better. Screw the states, the progressive says. We ought to abolish them outright, the progressive says. Here, see for yourself:
As for the veterans of the Grand Army of the Republic, they deserve honor and recognition such as is paid to no other citizens of the republic; for to them the republic owes it all; for to them it owes its very existence. It is because of what you and your comrades did in the dark years that we of to-day walk, each of us, head erect, and proud that we belong, not to one of a dozen little squabbling contemptible commonwealths, but to the mightiest nation upon which the sun shines.
Contemptible? That word simply does not need to be there. That sentence flows fully in place and gets the point across without that one word. Why was that word added? It was added because he wanted it there. He also said at another time:
Now, the Democratic Party in its platform and through the utterances of Mr. Wilson has distinctly committed itself to the old flintlock, muzzle-loaded doctrine of States' rights, and I have said distinctly that we are for the people's rights. We are for the rights of the people. If they can be obtained best through the National Government, then we are for National rights. We are for the people's rights however it is necessary to secure them.
See. This is Saul Alinsky 101. The ends justify the means. And if the states stand in our way? Screw them. That's old outmoded thinking anyways, those of you who cling to your guns and your religion AND cling to your state governments. But we progressives have a solution. We will load up the word "corruption" with multiple meanings so that even we can speak freely and you don't know what we mean when we say it.
As I said above, progressives had a different definition of their use of the word "corruption". What they meant was that the states are corrupt. The very existence of states violates all that is good and decent. That's what progressives think. Who did I quote above? Theodore Roosevelt. The guy who everybody says loved America. How can you love America and hate the states? How is that possible? You saw the words. The first part I used came from the New Nationalism speech and the second one - the more important one(but not because of the words themselves) - is from the speech when he was almost assassinated.
Yes, you have that right, but I'll spell it out plainly. Here's a guy who hated the states so much that he goes to give a speech in which he knows he is going to rip the states apart. He gets shot, he has a piece of metal in his chest and he is bleeding. But his answer is "Nope, I gotta rip the states even if I bleed a little, I can go to the hospital afterwards". Could you ever imagine hating something that intensely that even a bullet doesn't stop you? Now, before the comments start coming in I bet some of you might say "yeah, my in-laws". Wow. Ok. Well. I'm sorry to hear that. But the fact remains that TR hated the states as much if not more than you hate your in-laws. Imagine that, just to give context. Imagine that.
This is what we have been seeing for 100+ years now. We know the progressives hate the states. I'm not telling you anything new here. I'm just confirming it for you. What you have seen with your own two eyes is in fact correct. They hate the states as institutions and want it all done nationally. But the difference is the malcontent on the streets, who only knows what the media tells him, and a guy in leadership like TR who openly and admittedly hates the states. We will never know now as the question was never asked, but I have no doubt in my mind that the real plan among progressive leadership of the early 1900s was the de-coupling of the people's strong state attachments for good, and transforming from Ohioans into Americans into Americans-only who ask "My state has its own constitution?"
And it only took the progressives 100 years to achieve their goal. I bet that by the end of the 1950s Americans had forgotten the role that their states are/were supposed to play in the federalist system. How many people do you know who have read their State constitution? I'd bet you could ask 10 out of 10, and everybody would agree - nobody has read their state constitution. Particularly in the context of education. The progressive academics in schools teach everything nationally. Nothing is ever taught about the states in this context. They simply don't want you to know.
Some people say that the 16th amendment is the worst amendment. It's not. The 17th Amendment is. The 16th amendment "simply" changes how dollars and cents are collected. The 17th amendment represents a partial repeal of the United States Constitution. It repeals the Senate as well as a repeal of all 50 states.
"squabbling contemptible commonwealths" becomes "squabbling contemptible nations" becomes "squabbling contemptible globes".
Hey now. Pedo joe already told us that NO AMENDMENT is absolute so........................
I would say mobility tends weaken commitment to states.
I was born in NC, and have lived in SC, GA, FL, TX, and AR (also Germany). To which state should I be loyal?
I wonder if any of the anti-17th amendment crowd will stick with their “principles” and oppose California having a recall election for Gavin Newsom? After all, the creation of Recall elections where the voters can directly remove a politician halfway thru their term by having a special election and voting on it was a product of the early 20th century “Progressive Era” and was introduced by leading “Progressives” of the time (those from the Teddy Roosevelt wing of the GOP and the Woodrow Wilson wing of the RATS)
As we all know from this enlightening article, anything to come out of that environment had insidious intentions, and is therefore bad and needs to be abolished.
Very good article, thanks for posting.
Ideally, yes. Everything that the progressives have given us is poison and all of it ought to be repealed. That includes IRR. (Initiative, Referendum, and Recall)
The trick will be "oh you support Gavin Newsom now?" - propaganda like this makes it difficult to do the right thing and get progressivism repealed.
An even better example though is the Incorporation Doctrine. As a machine, the enactment of the 17th together with the Incorporation doctrine have put the states into the wood chipper like a mafia hit, as well as our Bills of Rights.(all 51 of them, not just the Federal BOR.)
With Incorporation the courts can steal it, and with the 17th the states have no voice to reverse it. It's extremely insidious. But that's progressivism.
Yeah, more or less what I believe. It was a power grab, and it moved power away from the people (who vote for their state legislatures, thus accountable to the people for whom they selected as Senator) to the political parties. From there it evolved to fundraising and party machines and now mass advertising and social media.
Party politics is eating away at the fabric of American life for all Americans. George Washington warned us about it. But worse of all, it’s all just a facade to cover for corruption.
That’s a haunting image, especially when you consider that “progressives” were the people who brought the eugenicist movement to America. It sort of ended when we had to go kick some Nazi asses. But while progressives may have abandoned eugenics (sort of, at least in name) their other ideas are just as bone-headed or evil.
That is a straw-man argument if ever there was one.
Mobility of this sort is much newer (I mean on a wider scale) than the hatreds from progressivism toward the states as important institutions within our government.
To answer your question, it would be your current state. Previous places lived is largely irrelevant.
In a sense you are an immigrant. Do you favor assimilation? Why would you move to a new state and not assimilate to it?
Consider a frequent gripe of Californians moving to state x and turning state x into a crazy state. Isn’t the real gripe that Californians don’t assimilate when they move? They vote for craziness in California, craziness escalates and gets too crazy, so they relocate to (let’s pick Texas) and they don’t change their voting habits. They are turning Texas crazy because they aren’t becoming Texans.
Californians turned Colorado into California because they didn’t assimilate and now Colorado is crazy.
74 page pdf file dissertation...
Ulysses at the Mast:
Democracy, Federalism, and the Sirens’ Song of the Seventeenth Amendment
Jay S. Bybee, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
William S. Boyd School of Law - 1997
It may take me a while to read all of this, but that paper makes a good point on page 4/502 - The Founding Fathers did not give us a national government.
What happened is that the progressives perverted our federalist system into a national government with control over all aspects of our lives. The 17th was a huge part of that and is arguably the biggest and most important cornerstone.
Leftists love centralized power. The only thing capable of checking the power of the federal government is the states. Thus Leftists hate state’s rights.
It has always been thus.
Bitt - are you familiar with the articles ProgressingAmerica posts? He’s great. I think people on your ping list would like this one and others he posts.
Partly yes, but also partly Wickard. Overturn that cancer and it would help a lot.
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