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Change The Way We Elect Senators
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Dear Editor,

Believe it or not Harry Reid, with his short term political manipulations, may have done us a long term favor. Why? Mr. Reid has provided us with a perfect example of the arrogant disregard that many United States Senators have for their constituents. He has repeatedly been able to coerce the Democratic members of the Senate into actions against the wishes of the government and people of the State they are supposed to represent and/or against the Constitution they were all elected to uphold. He is not the only Senate Majority Leader to do this; just the most blatant about doing it.

Both Parties have engaged in this type of activity because 100 years ago “we” made a mistake. At that time we allowed the ratification of the Seventeenth Amendment to our Constitution which provided Senators be elected by popular vote. Prior to that, Senators were elected by their State Legislatures for six years and could be removed by that same body at the end of that term or earlier if there were enough legislative votes to do so. Consider this: State Governors and the President are elected every four years, Congressman every two. This Constitutional change had the effect of making Senators safe from being answerable to anyone for six years. That’s a long time, and with the voters being the only judge of their competent performance, and our notoriously short political memory it gave Senators the opportunity for self-serving manipulations. Unfortunately, over these past 100 years, there have been many who took advantage of that fact, and did so for decades.

It is my fervent hope that the ham handed way Senator Reid has conducted the recent affairs of the United States Senate will lead to our demand, as the sovereigns of this nation, that our 100-year-old mistake will be reversed, and the Senate will again be made responsible to the State Legislatures. Had this been the case during Reid’s current term there would have been several Senators removed from office or pressured by their Legislatures to be more responsive to their State’s needs and desires; therefore fulfilling the checks and balances envisioned by our founders, and possibly providing the pressure to have Congress do something constructive.

Charles R. Shetron