No institution is failing the people more than the House of Representatives; representatives in name only. The House has become a second Senate, beholding to the powerful and elite.
The House was meant to amplify the voices of ordinary voters; make them dangerous to ignore. Do our endless wars, and a vastly unpopular tax reform, give evidence of a government afraid to ignore its people?
Initially, two means were used to ensure representatives were agents of their voters: small districts and short terms of office. We still have two-year terms, but the vast increase in district sizes, from 10,000 to 710,000, has diluted representation to nothing.
Americans know of first 10 amendments, the Bill of Rights, but few know they were actually the latter of 12 proposed amendments, approved and sent out for ratification, by the first U.S. Congress, Sept. 25, 1789. The second proposed amendment of the 12 didn’t complete its ratification until 1992 (the 27th Amendment); an over 200-year journey. This leaves only the first of the 12, waiting to, again, be propelled into the light of the people’s minds for debate and consideration.
Article the First, known now as the Congressional Apportionment Amendment, describes the methodology for increasing the number of representatives as the population grows. The First Congress expected both the population and the number of representatives to grow, and defined an equitable way for that to occur. Without this amendment, population growth undermines the people in their own institutions. They grow weaker as their numbers increase. One person cannot represent 710,000 people.
At 48, I’ve never had a meaningful exchange with my representatives; to do so would be to rob someone else of theirs.
“Thank you for calling, the message box is now full.”
M. A. “Sasha” Miller