Originally Published: February 5, 2018 6 a.m.
I was appalled to read on Jan. 25, that state Rep. Travis Grantham proposes in his HCR 2022 that the power to make choices for nominations for election of U.S. senators would be placed in the hands of the legislature, not the public. His bill would also limit choices for U.S. Senate candidates to only Democrats and Republicans.
Under Grantham’s plan, the legislature, not the people, would be in control of who is nominated for election to the U.S. Senate. He states that, currently, U.S. senators have no accountability to the state; however, I thought that our elected officials were accountable to the people!
Also under Grantham’s plan, if U.S. Senators want to be re-elected, they would have to present their case to the legislature, whose members would then decide whether that senator deserves to be re-elected, once again cutting out the people’s participation in that process.
Grantham stated this plan is meant to be “check and balances on the power of the popularly elected members of the House of Representatives” and that “voters could be persuaded to see that the current system of direct nomination of Senators does not always get them the best — and most responsive — senators.”
However, if we the people have no control over who is nominated for office, we have no control over getting the best, or any, senator that is responsive to our voice and needs.
We hear a lot today about America being an oligarchy, with the government being in the hands of a few. The people need to be wary of Grantham’s proposal, which would stop our ability to choose our own U.S. senators. Such a plan, if it becomes law, would certainly be another brick in the road to oligarchy.
Sharon F. Tice