Letter to the Editor

Power and the 17th Amendment

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

The Republican Party has a very vocal reverence for the United States Constitution — or at least the first 10 amendments. District 1 State Representative John Wills devoted multiple columns of his legislative update to explaining the Bill of Rights earlier this year. But when it comes to Amendments 11-27, that reverence apparently ends.

They rarely mention the 19th amendment, which gave women the right to vote. Or the 13th amendment that expanded freedom for all Americans with the end of slavery — a cause that many Iowans gave their lives to accomplish during the Civil War. The 18th amendment — making alcohol illegal — is the only real stinker, but the 21st amendment took care of it. And the 17th amendment took power from the elites and put it where it rightfully belongs — to We the People.

But apparently the 17th Amendment is not a favorite of the Iowa Republican Party. For some reason they believe that average citizens do not need the right to elect their U.S. Senators. The Iowa GOP Party platform explicitly calls for its repeal under their "Government" section, number 11: "We call for the repeal of the 17th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution."

So what’s the explanation? Me and my fellow Iowans are all ears. When Senators Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley are up for reelection, will we still get a vote?

Brett W. Copeland