Significance: Cause to Repeal the Seventeenth Amendment

Posted 28 February 2016 AD

What is the riddle of Esther? I refer to the young woman in the Bible, the book of Esther. The riddle: Who has more power, the king or the one who influences the king?

Truly representative government can best be characterized by the measure of influence the people have on their elected representatives. To bring this idea of influence into focus, I compare the influence of Texans living within Congressional District 4 (CD4).

CD4 map
Texas Congressional District Four (CD4)

Congressman John Ratcliffe represents approximately 700,000 Texans, population typical for all 435 congressional districts. Our two U.S. senators represent over 28, 000,000 Texans. The apportionment is due to the election of Representatives and Senators by popular vote.

Therefore, we in CD4 individually influence our elected representative as one in 700,000, while we individually influence either U.S. senator as one in 28,000,000. Your influence with Senator John Cornyn is less than 1/40th the influence you have with John Ratcliffe.

Our elected representative lives among us, right here in Heath, Texas. Meanwhile, Senator John Cornyn lives in Washington, D.C. John Ratcliffe frequents our communities and political events where you can actually talk with him. When have you ever spoken with John Cornyn?

For a living, breathing case against the Seventeenth Amendment, here are two examples: Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn.

mitch mcconnell and john corynyn with barack obama
Senators McConnell and Cornyn represent the interests of Barack Obama, not the people who elected them.

Under the original construct of our Constitution, the Senate was prescribed to “be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof, for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.”

31 members of the Senate and 150 members of the House make up the body of the Texas Legislature. Each Texas House district is home to fewer than 170,000 persons, while each Texas Senate district covers slightly more than 800,000.

Repeal of the Seventeenth Amendment would restore accountability of U.S. Senators to the people of the respective states.

While we are fortunate that Senator Ted Cruz truly represents the broad interests of me and my fellow Texans, such was not always the case and will not be so in the future. We can enjoy true representation if we restore original intent by repeal the Seventeenth Amendment.

John White
Rockwall, Texas

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