Q: Good afternoon Dr. Paul. My question concerns your thoughts on the 17th Amendment, and there’s some movement out there to have it repealed.
A: There have been some people talking about the 17th Amendment. I don’t know if there’s a great groundswell. The 17th Amendment was having U.S. senators elected directly as opposed to being appointed by state legislators. It’s not an issue that really motivates me that much as far as running for office or talking about it. Some people say it would be better if they were still appointed or elected by the state legislators. The only downside I see to that is somebody like myself who is an outsider – if you pick the top 50 Republicans in the state, they’re probably going to vote for the insider who they think –well, this guy may not believe in anything, he may be a moderate ex-Democrat – (laughter) I’m not speaking of anyone in particular – but if it were left up to these insiders, they’re going to make their choice based on that, and I’m afraid if it were up to the state legislature, you would continue to have insiders and not having the outsiders having a chance. I’m not thinking that strongly we should repeal the 17th Amendment. Some conservative writers – Mark Levin and his book Liberty and Tyranny talks about repealing the 17th Amendment. So I’m not really opposing the idea either but it just doesn’t excite me too much.
Comment: Here I have to disagree with Dr. Rand Paul. Insiders are a fact of life, and those that were elected to the US Senate prior to 1913 and those that would be elected if the 17th was repealed, surely were and would be insiders. But insiders to the state, not outsiders as is presently half the US Senate. They would at least represent their state and the intent of the state legislative body, as they did in the past, where as research has demonstrated they haven't since 1913, actaully furthering the aims of special interest over the citizenry.
The idea of repealing the 17th is for the states to regain their rightful place within the Federal Government. This is contrary to Dr. Rand Paul's belief and intent that mavericks should go to Congress to clean it up. Unfortunately the senior Dr. Paul, whom I am a great admirer and supporter of, has been fighting a long and difficult fight, and in that city one man is not going to make a huge difference. The difference he has made has been outside of Congress, not in.
However, there are many of us that believe the only way to get real change in Congress is restore the Constitution and the framework of our governmental structure back to the way the founders intended, which means a republican form centered on the rights of the states balanced against the rights of the people; and where the majority of federal power resides in Congress, not the White House or Supreme Court. This is about the rightful place of the states within our government. And remember, it is the states that grant authority to the federal government, as it is the people that grant authority to the states. Governmental authority is not a top down trickle.
Continuing popular elections only allows for greater control of the citizenry by the federal government and furthers the march toward this social/fascist state the oligarchs are creating...something Dr. Ron Paul knows very well, and I hope Rand as well.