The idea that people should elect their own senators came up back in 1787, at the Constitutional Convention. But the delegates decided, instead, that state legislatures should elect senators, elevating the “best” men into office.
Our thinking on democracy has changed. The 17th Amendment, ratified today, says the people-not state legislators-will elect their own senators.
It’s a victory for Progressives, the reformers in both parties who want to take power away from political bosses and put it back in the hands of the people.