The fall of the Republic! How did America morph from a Republic to a Democracy? Simple, we perverted the balance of power to mob rule by passing the 17th Amendment.
Originally our forefathers designed the balance of power to have the states appoint the Senators, and the people elect the House of Representatives, (hence the name). The electoral college was, and still is responsible for the election of the President. Here's how the passing of the 17th Amendment messed all that up. It left the election of the Senators to the people, not the states as the founders designed.
Currently there are 29 Republican Governors, 20 Democrats, and 1 Independent. So if those Republican controlled states sent representatives to the Senate, the balance of power would be President Democrat, House and Senate republican. Instead now we have Senators elected by popular vote. This means the population centers, which tend to run Democrat, generate a majority and tilt the balance of power toward the left.
Why is this important? Well lets say we need a balanced budget, and we do. Is the President more likely to compromise with a House and Senate united, or with the current gridlock? If the House and Senate want the President's cooperation, would they be more likely to compromise if the President dug in? Right now the only thing that's passing is Executive Orders and one might question the legality of those. We've gone from a Republic, to mob rule, and it's not working. And it's not working because we messed with the original design, way back in 1913.
It's easily fixed, repeal the 17th Amendment and go back to state appointed Senators. Then the will of the majority is represented by the House, the States have their say and are not overruled by the big population states like California and New York, and the Electoral College has it's say in who the President is. Balance of power!