Abolish the Senate
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Politics and Activism

Make America A Democracy: Abolish The Senate

The upper chamber of Congress is one of the most evil, undemocratic institutions in government.

Make America A Democracy: Abolish The Senate

It's 1789, and the people we have dubbed the "Founding Fathers" convene to write up a new system of government because the previous one was too weak.

It led to instability within the "masses" which culminated in a rebellion led by Revolutionary War veterans called "Shay's Rebellion". The history books never mention this, but one of the rebellion's goals was the abolishment of private property.

Now as we all know, the debate over the legislature was whether or not the number of legislators from each state should be based on the state's population or equal representation.

Large states like Massachusetts wanted the former, small states like Rhode Island sought the latter.

There was eventually a compromise, and we created the two branches of Congress.

States like New York could not bully places like South Carolina. At the time there were 4 million people in the country and less than half of the states that exist today had joined the Union.

By now you may be asking, why is he giving me a history lesson?

Well, as you gathered from the headline, I am making the case for abolishing the Senate. To fully understand why the Senate is a reactionary institution that prevents democracy and progress, you have to understand how it came to be that.

It's important to understand that before 1913, citizens did not elect Senators, state legislatures did. This is because the Senate was originally not meant to represent the people of their states, but literally the states themselves. This is because in the 1780s when the Senate was first created, the States were barely united. They only came together to form a powerful government out of necessity. States, for the most part, wanted their independence.

America is no longer a loose collection of states joining together reluctantly, it is a large nation of over 320 million people. And the idea that the Union would potentially split up was crushed by the Civil War.

Now it's time to examine, at least a modern scale, how undemocratic the Senate really is.

The Senate is a great threat to American democracy because of each state receiving equal representation. Despite states like California and New York having large, diverse populations that are typically left-leaning, America still mostly has right-leaning, mostly white states. And even though these people no longer make up the majority of the population, they enjoy 70 times more power in the Senate. The Senate is preventing the federal government from reflecting what the voters of this country actually look like.

As a white guy, I have nothing against white guys. However, it is immoral and illogical to allow this to continue.

And since every state gets electors for the Electoral College based on members in Congress, states that should really have one get three. Examples include: Alaska, Montana, Wyoming, and both Dakotas. That pretty much guarantees the Republicans 15 electoral votes, which might just explain how a person who loses by 3 million votes is able to become president.

In the 21st century, the Republican nominee won the popular vote once, yet so far we have had two Republican presidents who have set records with some of the lowest approval ratings in history.

Now some of the Senate's rules have saved the American people in the past, like when Speaker Paul Ryan was easily able to push through his ACA repeal, but the Senate was unable to pass it.

However, for every one good thing to come out of the Senate, there are four or five awful things.

We saw what a weaponized Senate is able to do under Mitch McConnell's reign of pure terror as majority leader. He was able to keep a Supreme Court vacancy open for over a year in one of the most blatant, unconstitutional power grabs in American history.

And, he was able to ram through one of the most unpopular Supreme Court nominees ever in Brett Kavanaugh. Couple that with one of the most unpopular tax bills in history, which under 50% of the US population supports, and you can see how such an undemocratic body would yield profoundly undemocratic results.

Now the entire argument for preserving offensive, undemocratic institutions like the Senate and the electoral college is to "protect the minority" from the tyranny of the majority.

It's important to understand that these institutions were invented to a) appease slave states and b) because the Founders were elitists with a harsh disdain for the poor. Alexander Hamilton referred to American voters as "a great beast."

And to the centrists out there that are so scared of California "oppressing" Wyoming, I'd ask how exactly is a tyranny of the minority over the majority fair or just? By keeping power in the hands of the elite few, America has created an oligarchy.

Is oligarchy truly the more just and moral system over a democracy?

The truth is, the far-right was able to see how undemocratic America truly is and has seized that opportunity. Now, thanks to how American government works, oil lobbyists are in charge of the Environmental Protection Agency, the NRA writes gun legislation, and a man who won the presidency with 20% of the population has the full power of the presidency.

But please, continue to insist that the electoral college and Senate are what makes this country "fair."

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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