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The Commons

A: Whether or not the immigrants in question become reliable Democratic voters is within the Republican Party’s ability to help decide; “open borders” as they existed for white people for most of United States history are not on the table, and deferring the deportation of undocumented immigrants does not make them eligible to cast a ballot in federal elections. Democrats can be held accountable by the electorate for taking unpopular positions on immigration. By disenfranchising rival constituencies, the Republican Party eliminates the ability of the electorate to hold the GOP similarly responsible for its actions. — Adam Serwer

Q: Would an independent Texas issue currency? If so, trying to pay for imported goods with that currency could increase costs for Texans, because sellers would likely demand a premium for a new and untested government’s issuance. — Diana Powe, Beaverton, Ore.

A: Daniel Miller hopes that Texas will issue its own currency, but he says it need not do so immediately upon independence. His “Texit” movement envisions an amicable divorce, and the new country developing monetary policy gradually, if necessary. An independent Texas could at first enter into a currency union with the remaining 49 states, then issue its own currency later, once it established the institutions necessary to manage and back its money supply. As Miller never fails to point out, much smaller economies than Texas (Australia, say) issue their own currency and do just fine. — Graeme Wood

On the Ranch

Courtesy of Anthony Sanchez

I have been reading The Atlantic since my college days, in the late 1950s and ’60s, when it was The Atlantic Monthly. About 10 years ago, I found myself reading too much at the ranch and not doing enough work, so I quit a bunch of subscriptions and narrowed my reading list. But I still kept buying The Atlantic. When I got snowed in last November, I had some time to read, and learned about the contest. My wife, Patsy, took some pictures after the snow melted, but we had no idea what the heck Instagram or a hashtag was. Grandchildren came to the rescue.

— Anthony Sanchez, winner of the 2019 Reading My Atlantic Contest
Carrizozo, N.M.

Behind the Cover

On this month’s cover, we illustrated the ideas behind David Brooks’s feature story by quite literally exploding a nuclear family. The vintage image, which conjures Bazooka Joe comics and mid-century cereal boxes, conveys a mythic familial happiness and nostalgia for the American dream. Today, of course, that family structure and its attendant ideals are long gone for most Americans, and they’re not coming back; a new approach is needed.

Peter Mendelsund, Creative Director
Oliver Munday, Senior Art Director

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