Over the past two days, I’ve talked about the first two of three flaws in American democracy. That leaves the issue of two Senators from every state, no matter the population. The Seventeenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides that “The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote.”
The problem is that some states have many more people than others. California is the state with the highest resident population in the United States with 39.24 million people. Wyoming had the lowest population with about 580,000 residents. That means that a voter in Wyoming is more than 67 times more powerful than a voter in California. Wyoming is a “safe red state,” that is, predominantly Republican, whereas California is known as one of the most progressive states in the nation and consistently votes for Democrats in presidential races.
We need to revise the way we allocate the number of senators from each state so that the U.S. Senate offers fair representation of the American population.
As it happens, all three of these flaws favor well-to-do Americans over the more numerous middle- and lower-class citizens. My guess is that was intentional. The Founding Fathers were educated and therefore upper-class and probably wanted to preserve their status. But now times have changed. It’s time to restructure and make our political base more fair for everybody.