As my boss and Nation editor and publisher Katrina vanden Heuvel wrote in Editor’s Cut, The Nation‘s “definition of patriotism is fighting to make sure your country lives up to its highest ideals.” In that spirit, here are five measures worth supporting on this Fourth of July. All would help us form a more perfect union.
1. Health Care for All
More than 47 million Americans are now living without health coverage, and even if you have health coverage you’ve still got a great chance of getting screwed, as anyone who’s seen Michael Moore’s Sicko knows. Representative John Conyers’s United States National Health Insurance Act (HR 676) would create a single-payer healthcare system by expanding Medicare to every resident. Pledge your support and get involved to help pass HR 676.
2. End Torture, not Habeas Corpus
Presidential candidate Senator Chris Dodd has made defending our Constitution a focus of his campaign with the Restoring the Constitution Act of 2007, S. 576. The bill addresses the egregious wrongs of last year’s Military Commissions Act. It would restore habeas corpus–the right of any person held in US custody to appear before a court to determine whether imprisonment is lawful. It would require that the United States live up to its Geneva Convention obligations on torture. And it would hold any government official accountable for torture and abuse–whether in an interrogation room or handing down orders from on high. Contact your representatives and ask them to co-sponsor Dodd’s bill or the House version (HR 1415). You might also ask Dodd’s fellow-presidential candidates–Senators Clinton and Obama – why they haven’t signed on yet.
3. Voting Representation for DC
The House of Representatives passed legislation that would give approximately 600,000 Washingtonians a voting representative in Congress for the first time. Now, the Senate has the opportunity to help finish the job by passing the DC House Voting Rights Act (S. 1257). Contact your Senator and urge support for this critical legislation.