No. of Recommendations: 2
That one is easy. Immigration.

A Dem has to find a way to talk about this again or Trump stands a realistic chance of winning again.

I don't profess to know the solution but by all appearances, "red" voters cared more about immigration than healthcare, the economy, or terrorism. I don't know the rarity of that but it seems quite significant to me.


Agreed. Both sides have a tendency to oversimplify this very complex issue into sound-bite contexts; for Republicans this gets framed through a lens of xenophobia, whereas Democrats err on the side of boiling it down to a matter of humanitarianism. It's as if both sides picked a way to look at the issue such that it would generate the most conflict and pose the least chance of mutual reconciliation between the respective points of view.

On the fringes lie the extremes of both viewpoints. From the far right come cries to shut the border and end immigration altogether, whether currently legal or not (in it's most odious form excluding immigration based on religion or nation of origin). From the far left there are indeed "open borders" advocates. Neither are tenable positions.

Somewhere in the middle there is what the solution needs to be, which is to say that there needs to be serious reforms to our process for legal immigration that speeds the process for people who we want to let in and excludes those who we do not. Enforcement is a necessary piece of this solution, as is an end to the persistent legal gray area where illegal immigrants are accomodated in pseudo-legal status (allowed to work, get driver's licenses, etc.) and possibly rewarded with amnesty during the occasional national come-to-Jesus moment. We should look to the model of other western countries where residency privileges and/or citizenship are based on fairly rigid requirements that require the applicant to demonstrate they are in possession of needed skills and have documented job prospects that will allow them to support themselves once within our borders. Screening for criminal backgrounds, illness, mental fitness, willingness to abide by US secular law and intent to "assimilate" are all valid conditions of allowing someone into the country. On the flip side, violations of US law or failure to fulfill "bootstrapping" requirements could be grounds for expulsion. Conditions for political amnesty need to be better understood and shouldn't be granted to people who are simply running from the same problems the average citizen might encounter in the United States (poverty, gang violence, etc.).

At the end of the day the only workable solution is one that protects and validates the benefits of citizenship by ensuring that it retains some measure of privileged status. A thing loses all importance when anyone can have it. If a Democratic candidate could be allowed to talk about immigration like this without getting pilloried as a heartless xenophobe, it would neutralize a key point of criticism from the right.
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