Sorry, Bernie: closed primaries are good

Both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump greatly benefitted from open primaries this election cycle. The state contests where independents have been able to vote were key to Trump eliminating his early competition, and continue to provide strength to the Bernie campaign. Any you know what? That's a problem.

The primary process is not designed to be democratic. For the years in between presidential elections, members of each party raise funds, support local candidates, and advance ideological causes to define the party platform. The presidential nominee is a culmination of all these efforts. What's unfair is not excluding the independents who want to pick which presidential nominee they like best and cast a corresponding primary ballot; what is unfair is diluting the vote of those who maintain a consistent party registration.

Why Bernie hates the rules
A friend of mine worked for the Sanders campaign. He's a professional political operator, and As the tide has definitely turned against Bernie he has faced the challenge of explaining to volunteers: sometimes you just lose. Or, as he memorably phrased it to me: "these people don't get it. It's not a revolution. It's a campaign." The reason Bernie has pivoted to arguing about the rules is obvious: he lost. And instead of engaging in introspection that might lead his supporters to moderating or changing their position to be more popular and win votes, it's easier to point fingers at the "establishment," and claim it was fixed to begin with.

Trump's plan for reforming higher education
Donald Trump seems to be warming to the idea that he'll need some kind of policies in place if he is elected president. Last week his campaign rolled out some comments on higher education reform - and they're actually pretty solid. Although the blue model seems to be veering toward free college for everyone, it's simply fantasy: the current unaffordability of college is largely driven by student loans becoming unhinged from economic reality. The idea to make college funding more difficult and attached to field of study is a good move toward getting college aligned with the needs of the economy. More practically: it makes sense that as demand declines due to less funding, tuition is like to decline, too.