Whatever rhetoric comes from President-elect Joe Biden, the country remains more divided because of the election, with studies showing a growing divide and distrust between red and blue communities and increasing openness to violence on both sides. The impact of the second wave of Covid-19 on businesses, the continued killing of black men and women by police, and a former president soon unhindered by office, will not help.
Biden is pursuing a business-as-usual approach to funding childcare that makes the situation worse long-term. This policy does not address the root of the problem: family planning. It does not ensure a minimum threshold under which children should not be born, does not address the way unsustainable family size drives the climate and other crises, and does not create inclusive communities.
Why are your tax dollars being paid out without these safeguards?
It’s a cliché to say that children, who are the future, can unite us. But novel policies that could change the way we plan for, have, and raise kids make the possibility of coming together real and meaningful beyond empty clichés. Those policies begin by our realizing that being truly inclusive starts by deliberately including children in communities through more cooperative family planning systems that eliminate marginalization, and focus as a priority on giving every child a fair start in life.
Those policies would also have to promote smaller families that create more democratic communities where everyone’s voice matters. This would be a stark reversal of our current family tax policies that promote quantity over quality, ignore fair starts in life, and promote the antithesis of inclusivity.
The best part? Such #fairstart policies should appeal to both liberals and conservatives, because they promote the traditionally liberal value of equity while also promoting the traditionally conservative value of autonomy by investing more in kids in ways that make them self-sufficient and capable citizens. Together, these values create a vision of free and equal people engaged in the self-rule the founders of the nation envisioned, or the ideal of town halls, rather than a vision of economic growth that through overcrowding and lack of a common core excludes people from public institutions.
Moreover, new family planning policies like these would have a massive impact on the climate crisis that threatens all of us, with an exponentially greater impact than many downstream alternatives. Family planning reform is the only truly fundamental type of reform, and given the climate crisis, fundamental reform is what we need.
Children can unite us, but to make that statement mean something, we have to start at the beginning, with the way we plan families. We have to start with a vision of a future of smaller, sustainable, and truly democratic communities where we invest more in kids and where all have a meaningful voice.
Take Action: Urge Kamala Harris to use her position to educate Biden and to promote child-centric Fair Start family planning reforms. Copy and paste this message in your communications with her.