Dr. Russell Kirk’s The Conservative Mind began the modern conservative movement and was the guide Barry Goldwater, Ronald Reagan, Wm.F. Buckley, Jr., and others looked to for clarity and focus on “the permanent things.” Linked here a
Russell Amos Kirk was an American political theorist, moralist, historian, social critic, literary critic, and fiction author known for his influence on 20th century American conservatism. Wikipedia
Born: October 19, 1918, Plymouth, MI
Died: April 29, 1994, Mecosta, MI
Spouse: Annette Kirk (m. 1963)
Influenced by: Edmund Burke, T. S. Eliot, Eric Voegelin, MORE
Education: University of St Andrews (1953), Michigan State University, Duke University
Kirk’s Books include The Conservative Mind; Roots of American Order; Eliot and his age; The politics of Prudence; The American Cause and 30+ more.
Project Kirk examines issues of the day in the contest of true conservatism as reflected in Kirk’s writings and speeches. Visit often for updates. Here is one from last week:
++ Checks and Balances: How the 17th Amendment altered legislative responsibility – The Seventeenth Amendment because it altered the political process of the way we elect senators. The biggest problem with this amendment is that it trades out stability in our political system for bigger, faster change – which is the opposite of what the founders intended.
Representatives were elected by districts. The representatives would then elect the two senators who would represent them, and the state, in the upper house. It is important to note that another key aspect of this system provided accountability for the senators. If at any time the representatives felt a senator was not representing the state’s interests, the representatives had the ability to impeach and replace them.
The original way that our senators were elected was far more stable than it is now. The point of electing senators this way was to not force the legislature to bow to the ever-changing minds of the general populous. The population was meant to be represented by representatives and for representatives to choose senators who would represent the state with due diligence.
The Seventeenth Amendment came about when progressivism and populism were the new popular political ideologies of the time. Woodrow Wilson passed the Seventeenth Amendment in 1913, but Wilson’s administration was also the closest thing to fascism America has ever seen. It is therefore also fitting that Wilson is also regarded as the father to progressivism. MORE
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