Merry on Rome and America

I don't think I have ever been cited this much in an essay.

11 comments:

  1. "The franchise is nearly universal; U.S. senators are chosen by popular vote and not by state legislatures…"

    Yes, Mr. Merry, that is a shame. /s

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    1. Yes, it was an idiotic act to take the power to elect Senators from the state legislatures!

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    2. Okay, I feel some sway towards agreeing with you. Why was it idiotic?

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    3. Thank God you didn't agree with that first clause!

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    4. "Yes, it was an idiotic act to take the power to elect Senators from the state legislatures!"

      Why?

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    5. See Aristotle, Polybius, Montesquieu, Federalist Papers, etc., on why mixed-form government is superior to the pure forms such as democracy.

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    6. I'm familiar with those arguments and I don't disagree with them. I fail to see how popular election of senators is closer to democracy than the state legislatures selecting them. I've seen that complaint many times and it's never made sense. Someone will say "majority-rule is bad". In response I will say "I don't disagree, but that has nothing to do with the Seventeenth Amendment". It's utterly baffling, like complaints about the incorporation doctrine being "tyranny".

      Also, have you researched why the amendment was passed?

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    7. "I fail to see how popular election of senators is closer to democracy than the state legislatures selecting them."

      Well, that's odd, because the very argument FOR the change was "it's more democratic"!

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    8. Wikipedia: 'Most important was the populist argument; that there was a need to "Awaken, in the senators...a more acute sense of responsibility to the people", which it was felt they lacked; election through state legislatures was seen as an anachronism that was out of step with the wishes of the American people, and one that had led to the Senate becoming "a sort of aristocratic body – too far removed from the people, beyond their reach, and with no special interest in their welfare".'

      So the "most important" argument was that this reform was... more democratic!

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  2. Are you familiar with the massive amounts of corruption associated with pre-Seventeenth selection of Senators during the Gilded Age?

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    1. Good thing there is no corruption of Senators any more!

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