Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – Let’s go to the Dude Maker Hotline. Our friend Dr. Professor Kevin Gutzman is on the line. We’re going to talk a little bit about this silliness that the president can actually act unilaterally because the 14th Amendment commands him to do so when it comes to paying the debt of the United States. Check out today’s transcript for the rest…
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: Let’s go to the Dude Maker Hotline. Our friend Dr. Professor Kevin Gutzman is on the line. We’re going to talk a little bit about this silliness that the president can actually act unilaterally because the 14th Amendment commands him to do so when it comes to paying the debt of the United States. Professor Dr. Gutzman, good morning, my friend. How are you?
Kevin Gutzman: Good morning, Mike, very well. How are you?
Mike: I am peachy. I am well, thank you very much. Before we get into the 14th Amendment conundrum here that we have been exchanging emails about, let me just ask you a quick, off-the-cuff question. You may have an answer and you may not, so there’s no pressure or anything. After the 17th Amendment was passed, do you have any knowledge or have you researched this or did you spend any time — I know when you were writing Who Killed The Constitution? you studied the Wilson administration a little bit. Was there anything that was written or said that now that we’ve altered the way senators are elected that they no longer have to report to or represent the wishes of their state legislatures?
Gutzman: Sure. That was the entire purpose of the 17th Amendment. The idea here was that we didn’t want a countervailing pressure from the state legislatures. We want these people to be able to consider only the national interests. We’ll get rid of the indirect election process that was established at the Philadelphia Convention and through the ratification conventions, and instead we’ll have democratic election in each state and these people will be beholden only to the people, not the state legislatures. That’s exactly what was supposed to happen.
Of course, the reason why the progressives wanted this was because they didn’t like the idea of anything other than national interests. They didn’t like the idea of checks and balances. They were almost unanimous behind Woodrow Wilson’s idea that the Constitution was outmoded and would be far better if we had the British system. That’s why he restored the old federalist practice of giving annual state of the union speeches instead of having just a message sent by the president to Congress. Where Jefferson objected that this was monarchical practice, Wilson thought that was a good thing, and it was a better idea to have one man who was ultimately responsible. Anything that could be done to remove decentralizing impulses in the government should be done, and that’s what the 17th Amendment is about.
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