by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
In recent years the United States Senate has become the bête noire of many good-government liberals who believe that increasing disparities in state populations mean that the Senate is becoming more and more of an anti-democratic bastion that undermines the public will.
To a degree, I sympathize with these concerns. However, the Senate is worth defending. …
… the Founders in 1787 raised the question of whether we would have a national democracy, and they voted it down at the Constitutional Convention. This is akin to what the staunch nationalists — Madison, James Wilson, and Alexander Hamilton — wanted, but they lost the battle in Philadelphia. And they probably would have lost it at the ratification debates as well. Ultimately, the established government was to be a blend of a national government acting directly on the people and a federal compact among the states, which retain a portion of their original sovereignty and equal representation in the Senate.
If this interferes with the efficient exercise of some governmental powers, maybe it is because we have expanded the authority of the government beyond what its structure was ever intended to bear.