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Abolish the Senate
Why not? Also, why did we rank these next two states?
Happy Friday morning, Tens of Tens. Thanks for your continued support of Okay History.
Thirty-four Senate seats are on the ballot this upcoming election. In twenty-eight of the races, incumbents will seek reelection. Can't wait!
Plenty of other sites will deep dive into what they think will happen and which states will flip from red to blue or blue to red, or maybe one state will turn into a lovely shade of magenta, who knows.
We didn't always choose Senators at the ballot box as a country. In fact, in our republican system of government, we used to have state general assemblies choose who would be their Senator in Washington, DC.
For the first century or so of our existence, our legislative branch of government functioned as a bicameral body.
The populist masses voted every two years to elect the craziest people from their neighborhoods to serve as Representatives in the House and short-term needs; versus six-year terms for states in the Senate with long-term views.
Then one day, people started flipping out about the idea of states sending dudes to the Senate. Citizens of all shapes and sizes began to claim that senate seats were being paid for by men who did favors for multiple state legislators, currying favor to gain power.
Their proposed solution was to allow the people to vote.
And then we guess just sit back and watch the corruption fade away. Cause that's what happened, right?
There was a good argument that most of the Southern state assemblies became one-party ruled and that one party didn't care for black and poor white people, which disenfranchised them in their overall representation in the Senate.
Again, in theory, the solution of providing votes to individuals seems worthy, but what actually happened is that Congress, especially the Senate, is run by multi-millionaires.
The solution? We suggest abolishing the Senate. Oh yeah, we went there.
But getting back on track, the momentum for popular votes of Senators passed Congress in 1912, and Connecticut became the 36th state to ratify the Amendment on April 8, 1913, making it numero 17.
We would love to know what you think.
Let's dive into the next round of ranking the states!
Founded: June 15, 1836
Do we know the state capital off the top of our head? Yes. Little Rock (Here's a great Lee Ann Womack song about the city)
Have we been there? No.
Do we want to go? Not especially.
Johnny Cash was born in Kingsland in 1932, which automatically gives you a five-state bump.
Cash grew up in Dyress, Arkansas, the northern and easternmost part of the state. He and his family worked cotton farms as part of a New Deal program that helped poor people work towards buying the land themselves.
We thank the state of Arkansas for giving us Johnny Cash.
Johnny Cash's experiences of being poor and surrounded by the poor influenced his music.
Arkansas helped with this inspiration by consistently producing poor people. Arkansas had poor people when they first joined the Union, when they succeeded and rejoined.
It didn't matter the time - the Razorback state continues to be a top-five of the poorest states in the country.
We see high poverty rates linked with high obesity rates linked to short life expectancy. We see it in Alabama, and we mentioned this when we spoke of Mississippi. We see the same running theme here, and it's bad.
After the Civil War, each state had to rewrite its state constitution to be readmitted into the Union. In 1872, all heck broke out when factions split inside the state Republican Party after the election of Elisha Baxter, a former soldier born in North Carolina and moved to Arkansas, won.
His opponent, James Brooks, a minister born in Ohio and became the chaplain for the 56th United States Colored Infantry, based in Arkansas, was not particularly happy about this outcome.
Brooks disputed the result. Personal militias backed both sides, and Baxter was physically removed from office. After a bunch of foolishness, Baxter was reinstated by President Grant.
The Brooks-Baxter War ruined the Republican Party in Arkansas, effectively killed Reconstruction, and led to Democratic rule for over 90 years.
We do not thank the state of Arkansas for killing Reconstruction.
Why did we rank it here?
A few things come to mind:
In 2022, does anyone ever associate the Clintons with Arkansas anymore? It's hard to believe they were the first couple in this state for many years.
In our senior year of high school in 1994, the Arkansas Razorback men's basketball team defeated Duke for the national championship. We remember how much we disliked Duke, probably because we were jealous that we weren't that good to play high school basketball by our senior year. Or junior year.
We were always fans of their full-court, pressing for 40 minutes, style of play.
Final note, Arkansas ratified the 17th Amendment on February 11, 193. Days after Wyoming.
Founded: January 4, 1896
Do we know the state capital off the top of our head? Yes. Salt Lake City
Have we been there? No.
Do we want to go? Yes. But the only friend we had in the state recently moved, so we know no one.
We have recently learned that US News & World Report ranked each state and have put Utah at #3 based on certain criteria.
But we here at OKH are capricious, arbitrary, and infuriating inconsistent. We hear you, a random person who we also happen to live with.
However, it would be bad of us to change our approach.
So, for the bad section, we present Cousin Andrew.
Many of the Tens of Tens have not met Cousin Andrew. We love him; we do. But there are times when he can be bad.
Just trust us on this. Andrew is from Utah, and not surprisingly, the guy is a Utah sports fan (more on that later).
We feel Cousin Andrew makes Utah bad metric fits our criteria.
We mentioned the Green River, which reminded us of the Green River Killer. Don’t ask why.
Technically, Gary Ridgway, the actual Green River Killer, was convicted of murdering 48 women and burying a few of them near the Green River; only this one was in Washington.
However, we also learned that Ridgway was born in Salt Lake City, and therefore, technically, Utah has to own this massive L on its rankings.
Why did we rank it here?
We respect the fact that Utah's capital is also their largest city. Why don't more states do this? We feel it's more convenient to have state affairs handled in a city where people want to enjoy a variety of sights, sounds, and smells. Other states put their capital city in the middle of nowhere.
But Utah gets knocked for its professional sports team names, and they are awful.
First, in basketball, they are known as the Jazz, which is weird because Jazz is not something you would associate with Utah. Then you recall that the club originated in New Orleans before moving to Utah and was called the Jazz because that makes way more sense.
Second, in soccer, the club is known as Real Salt Lake. It's pronounced REEL ALL Salt Lake, much like Real Madrid's fascist Spanish soccer club.
If the good people of Utah want their socialist soccer team named after fascists, that's their business, but they aren't breaking out of the 40s in our rankings.
Finally, Utah has yet to do anything with the 17th Amendment. They haven’t voted on it. That’s wild.
One day, we will rank all the Amendments to the Constitution – outside the Bill of Rights.
Where would the 17th Amendment fall for you? We are talking from 11-27.
Or, if you like, lobbying us like a Senator to consider your favorite state gets top billing. We are looking for bribes or what we call subscribers.
Have a great weekend, everyone. We are back in Kentucky, and bourbon and horses are on the agenda.