The United States Senate, like the electoral college, is a profoundly undemocratic institution that should be abolished. If we ever want to live in a well-functioning democracy that actually reflects the will of its citizens, that is.
This is one of those big, perpetual, systemic stories that does not get discussed often, because it never changes, and therefore is not perceived as "news," but rather as just the way things are. Today, though, the New York Times—too journalistic and impartial to come right out and say "The Senate is profoundly unfair and should be abolished"—has a nice story that leaves any reasonable person with the unavoidable takeaway that the Senate is profoundly unfair and should be abolished. I mean,
Vermont's 625,000 residents have two United States senators, and so do New York's 19 million. That means that a Vermonter has 30 times the voting power in the Senate of a New Yorker just over the state line - the biggest inequality between two adjacent states. The nation's largest gap, between Wyoming and California, is more than double that.
For some reason, rectifying this flatly stupid system of government designed hundreds of years ago for a much different country is considered "far-fetched." It is considered more reasonable for political thinkers to tie themselves in knots attempting to justify this flatly stupid system, since it's been around so long.
In conclusion, the US Senate is a profoundly undemocratic institution that should be abolished, if we ever want to live in a well-functioning democracy that actually reflects the will of its citizens.
[Image by Jim Cooke]