We're not having enough kids

One benefit to waiting until Monday to post my weekly links is that I can share I made my first donation of the cycle: $15 to Johnson-Weld as part of their #15for15 campaign. The idea of voting for Hillary Clinton is offensive to me: her lack of trustworthiness, terrible judgement, and abhorrent policy positions are not the future I want for America, especially with the Supreme Court hanging in the balance. Getting Johnson into the debates represents the only chance of meaningfully disrupting the two current major party options.

Even Trump knows he’s losing
I think it’s pretty disingenuous for pro-Trump Republicans to blame the anti-Trump elements of the party for his current poor standing. Trump’s unpopularity with the general electorate was known early in the primary, and it was not a secret that he was the nominee least likely to beat Hillary Clinton in a race where a generic GOP nominee would be favored. I was not surprised to read this New York Times reporting about the state of his campaign, as it perfectly aligns with everything we know about Trump’s business decision-making process, his obsession with the media, and political inexperience. 

If Hillary does win in November, it’s a reminder: coalitions are necessary to win elections. Extreme candidates are not viable for this reason, be they Bernie or Trump, and primary electorates need to consider electability alongside ideological tests. John Kasich may not have had the positions people loved in Trump, but his are certainly closer to their ideal than Clinton. Now we’ll end up reaping what we sowed.

So let’s focus on what matters
Politico got their hands on a leaked memo to vulnerable GOP congressional candidates, encouraging them to dump Trump if needed to hold their seat. Keeping the Republican congressional majority is essential at this point: for all the grumbling about Obamacare, people need to remember it only happened because the Democrats controlled Congress. A GOP-led legislature can prevent things from passing in a Clinton administration (which is a lot more realistic than unwinding major legislation after the fact). Hopefully the GOP itself wakes up to this, as well, and begins reallocating resources away from the presidential ticket and down-ballot.

America’s decllining birthrate is an emergency
Lost in all of our rhetoric about American exceptionalism is a crucial fact: our post-World War II success has been driven as much by demographic trends as anything else. We’ve done better than other Western countries in large part because we’ve been able to keep our population young and growing, unlike Japan and Europe who are aging and shrinking. There are only two ways to achieve this: immigration and procreation. And we’re falling down on the latter. I suspect it will take another fifty years to truly understand all the impacts of the great recession, but the impact on younger people’s abilities to be stable and begin larger families is one we’re starting to see now. It is not an exciting policy topic, but if we’re going to remain as dynamic economy as we’ve been, we need to start incentivizing people to have kids again — and soon.