Links for 07/15/16

As if Puerto Rico did not have enough problems, the Environmental Protection Agency is failing to enforce its own orders to close landfills with toxic waste that threatens residential drinking water and worse. If Hillary Clinton is looking to do something on the environmental front, that also has innate appeal to Latino voters, she should promise to make Puerto Rico the poster child for renewable energy. Meanwhile, Donald Trump continues to deny we need to do anything about climate change. 

At RNS, Mark Silk on the "Yellow dog Republicans" and the disappearing God gap. The fact that Trump underperforms among weekly church attendees, by a lot, is yet another reason Clinton should cool it on the culture war issues and emphasize the social justice platform, letting the country see that she remains a Midwestern Methodist church lady at heart. Unlike many people who have lost confidence in institutions of all kinds, weekly church attendees obviously still believe in belonging and Clinton's "stronger together" pitch resonates with them and they are not as likely to be swayed by the vagaries of a campaign as those who are less grounded in a particular, and divinely sanctioned, worldview. The fact that Trump overperforms among cultural evangelicals, those who self-identify as evangelicals but do not actually go to church very often, invites a host of questions. 

I don't have a car, so I do not listen to the radio very often anymore, but yesterday I borrowed the housemate's car to visit a friend and listened to Diane Rehm interview Robert P. Jones whose new book "The End of White Christian America" will contain many of the answers to the host of questions I noted above. Or at least I hope so: The book just came in the mail and once I finish the two books I am working on now, I am looking forward to delving into it.

A final note to Team Clinton: The slogan "stronger together" is great. Time to make a couplet and pair it with "forward together." The key word in Trump's slogan, as Jones pointed out in the interview, is "again." It is nostalgic. Better to look forward when you are campaign in these United States.  



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