It seems odd to note this in an election year, but it’s important nonetheless: The Founding Fathers feared unbridled, direct democracy. The Senate is supposed to slow down the legislative process by allowing vigorous debate. But Majority Leader Harry Reid (D–NV) is weakening its purpose by blocking other Senators from participating in that debate.

In Federalist #10, James Madison wrote that “democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.”

So while they wanted the people to govern themselves through a republic, the Founders wanted to guarantee that the process would include rigorous debate. To help facilitate that, the constitutional republic they created established two houses of Congress.

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