The longest-serving Congressman in US history proposes a four fixes for American democracy

From 1955 to 2015, John D. Dingell served in the US House of Representatives, making him the longest-serving Congressman in the country's history: now, in the Atlantic, he warns that at the 2016 election "put the future of our country in mortal peril," and he proposes four measures to bring it back from the brink.

1. Automatically register every US citizen to vote on their 18th birthday; allow voting with "no photo ID, no residency tests, no impediments of any kind."

2. Eliminate all campaign contributions, without exception. Publicly fund elections.

3. Abolish the Senate or incorporate it into the House of Reps to head off the "demographic crisis" that will see 70% of Americans in just 15 states, with 30 Senators between them; the 30% of the US that lives in the depopulated 35 states will get 70 Senators. Also: abolish the Electoral College.

4. Protect the independent press: "Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter." -T. Jefferson

Now I am an old man. My age bears with it a responsibility to share what I’ve witnessed so that future generations avoid making the same mistakes. My advice always begins with the truth, which is why would-be despots and demagogues try so hard to discredit it. They hate it like the devil hates holy water.

The conduct and outcome of the 2016 presidential election have put the future of our country in mortal peril. After a lifetime spent in public service, I never believed that day would come. Yet it has. And we now find ourselves on the precipice of a great cliff. Our next step is either into the abyss or toward a higher moral ground. Since before the Civil War, we’ve been told that “Providence watches over fools, drunkards, and the United States.” Yet the good Lord also granted us free will. The direction we choose to follow is ours alone to make. We ask only that he guide our choice with his wisdom and his grace.

It’s up to you, my dear friends.

I Served in Congress Longer Than Anyone. Here’s How to Fix It. [John D. Dingell/The Atlantic]

(via Metafilter)

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