The 17th Amendment began the process of destroying the Federal structure of the United States, empowering the Federal Government to expand into areas that were previously the sole province of the States, expansions that would have been resisted if the State Legislatures still had direct representation in Washington. Centralization of power comes with all manner of negative consequences, ranging from the ease with which well monied interests can exploit the process to the tyranny of the majority over the minority.
I'm not a Republican. I just cant fucking stand the dripping hypocrisy, nor the unimaginable logical fallacies of the fucking American Democrats any longer.
Reminds me of a quote: "I hate conservatives but I really fucking hate liberals." -Matt Stone, co-creator of South Park
Soros wants to educate us and make sure people have basic human rights.
Self defense is a basic human right, how's he feel about that one?
P.S., That's a rhetorical question.
Arse? So a Brit presumes to lecture me on the American system of government? Don't you have an un-elected Monarch to go pay tribute to or something? Maybe some inalienable rights (RKBA, the right to remain silent, the right against self-incrimination, and so on) you'd like to try and take back from your Government?
They are all for big liberal government programs as long as some else pays for them.
You've just described 100% of the American electorate.
The word "democracy" does not appear in the Declaration of Independence, nor the US Constitution, nor any of the State Constitutions that I'm familiar with.
Words matter, and the United States is properly described as a Federal Republic, made up of 50 States, that regain their sovereignty in all matters not explicitly assigned to the Federal Government by the United States Constitution.
Actually it's power that politicians worship (haven't you ever seen House of Cards?), which is an entirely different concept than money. To be sure, there's overlap between the two, but they are not one and the same. At the end of the day the best way to send a message to a politician is to vote them and/or their party out of office.
To answer your question about Keystone and Immigration policy: Few people vote on either of those issues. Take a look at the Second Amendment if you want an example of an issue that people are passionate enough to base their votes on, an issue that has little to do with money and everything to do with pure political enthusiasm.
but not concerned with the Koch brothers
What's the deal with this Liberal/Progressive/Leftist obsession with two people that the vast majority (85% in one poll I saw) of the American people have never even heard of? It's like the Democrats are already trying to rationalize why they've lost the 2014 mid-terms. It wasn't the platform, the electorate's exhaustion with the party, the bad economy, or even the usual historical trend away from a two term President.... it was those Machiavellian brothers and Citizens United!
Seriously, it's counter-productive to keep beating that particular drum, and the defeatism is a bit premature to say the least.
Incidentally, I see your Koch brothers and raise you George Soros and Michael Bloomberg. The right is obsessed with those two figures, though not to the same degree the left is obsessed with the Koch brothers.
Just allow companies to only grow up until they have, say, 1000 employees.
Can we apply this theory to Federal, State, and Local Government?
The "big players" get the same number of votes as everybody else: One
At the end of the day the only difference between the "big players" and everybody else is the size of their respective megaphones, since money buys a nicer megaphone. That difference matters a lot less than it used to (the internet cheaply empowers anyone whose ideas can command a following) and even if it didn't the 1st Amendment doesn't allow for the infringement of speech in the name of equal access.
That should have been "ostensibly" in item #3.
Sometimes I wonder if democracy is dead.
Sometimes I wonder if I was the only one paying attention in Civics and Social Studies. Cliff notes version:
1) The United States is not a Democracy, it's a Republic.
2) The devolution of Democracies into fragmented self-interests is a problem that's been studied since the time of Athens. It should surprise no one.
3) The United States Federal Government was obstinately set up to minimize the aforementioned trend, but several big mistakes (Reynolds v. Sims and the 17th Amendment top the list) along the way and 200 years of mission creep have undermined most of the protections put in place.
What can we do about it? You've got me. My best suggestion is to pray for the emergence of an existential threat, because that's the only thing that will get the American people to set aside their differences long enough to find the sort of common ground it took to come up with the original Constitution. You've actually got two problems to overcome:
1) The iPad crowd's apathy towards the political process, which is reinforced by:
2) The tendency of those engaged in that process to assume that those who disagree with them are out to destroy the American way of life.
If people think the NSA isn't all over the dark web, they be dummies.
The NSA isn't that concerned with where you buy your pot. They aren't even that concerned with where the local gangbanger buys his guns, or where the local perv sources his kiddie porn.
If you're going to wear the tin foil hat at least direct it at the appropriate three letter agencies: FBI, DEA, ATF, et. al.
You guys just assume as a fact that Russia is worse than US. I don't think that is true anymore.
I'm guessing you're heterosexual then?
Snowden has been careful to release only the things he feels violated the oath he and others took to the U.S. Constitution
Please point out the part of the US Constitution that says the Federal Government can't spy on foreign countries, then justify Snowden's leaking of intelligence methods and sources that had nothing whatsoever to do with American domestic civil liberties.