Opinion: Midterms a Constitutional Success

The Supreme Court of the United States (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

The Supreme Court of the United States (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

By Liam Kerr, Columnist

The election this past week perfectly demonstrated the ingenuity and precision with which the Founders designed the United States federal government. When all was said and done, the House of Representatives, apportioned according to state population sizes, belonged to the Democratic Party.  The Senate, which represents each state equally, remained with the Republican Party. The writers of our Constitution surely would have examined the results of this historic election with delight knowing that their great experiment was enduring exactly as it was designed. Although State Legislatures no longer select the two delegates to the Senate, as was the case until the progressive Seventeenth Amendment reformed Senate elections to statewide popular votes, states are still rightfully entitled to an equal level of representation in the upper house of Congress.  

Alarmingly, Democrats who weren’t happy enough with their victory in the House this week began targeting the basic design of the Federal Government, claiming the Senate to be unrepresentative of the populace.  Demonstrating a considerable level of ignorance on constitutional principles, these partisan antagonists seemingly misunderstand the very role of the Senate as an institution. As per the Constitutional Convention’s ‘Connecticut Compromise,’ the fact that the Senate is not representative of the people is its entire function.  Representation of the people is the responsibility of the House while representation of the states remains the exclusive domain of the Senate. In many institutional aspects of the federal government, the interests of national populace and the states are carefully weighed in policymaking. To anyone decrying what they identify as a disparity in the “Senate popular vote” and Tuesday’s Senate results, I would direct you to simply research the word “federal” in a dictionary. We label our government as one of a federal nature for a very clear reason, it is “a system of government in which several states form a unity but remain independent in internal affairs.”  

So please, celebrate the midterm elections as a clear symbol of original intent. The people spoke by electing a Democratic House. The states spoke by electing a Republican Senate.  And we will now witness two years of the beautiful and uniquely American phenomenon that is split government.

 

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Author: Liam Kerr

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