National Columns

Jamal Khashoggi’s final column: What Arab world needs most is free expression

A note from Karen Attiah, Washington Post Global Opinions editor: I received this column from Jamal Khashoggi’s translator and assistant the day after Jamal was reported missing in Istanbul. The Post held off publishing it because we hoped Jamal would come back to us so that he and I could ...

Opinion: GOP is scared of young people

A word for young people, people of color and, in particular, young people of color: The Republicans are scared of you. Maybe you find that hard to believe. Maybe you wonder how the party can be scared of you — or of anybody — given that it controls all three branches of the federal ...

Opinion: The Vietnam War’s mountain of mendacities

Washington — Early in his Marine Corps career, which he concluded as a four-star general, Walt Boomer was decorated for valor in Vietnam. He distilled into three words the lesson of that debacle: “Tell the truth.” Max Hastings, an eminent British journalist and historian, has done that in ...

Opinion: The irrationality — and caring — of baseball fans

American philosopher Jerry Seinfeld famously exposed how irrational we American baseball fans must be: “Team loyalty is a kind of hard thing to justify, in the end. ... Every year, it’s different guys. ... You’re rooting for clothes, when you get right down to it. ... I want my team’s ...

Opinion: A prince searches for a scapegoat

Washington — Inside his royal place in Riyadh, Mohammed bin Salman is said to have alternated between dark brooding and rampaging anger in the days after the death of Jamal Khashoggi, as the crown prince looked for someone to blame for what Turkish officials have said was a grisly ...

Opinion: Cruelty fills U.S. leadership vacuum

Washington — Whatever the eventual consequences of the Saudi Arabian regime’s suspected murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, President Trump’s initial response indicated much about the priorities of America First foreign policy. His instincts were commercial and ...

Opinion: Trump in a bind over Khashoggi

When President Donald Trump called the press the “enemy of the people,” he wasn’t only speaking to his pep rally audience. Autocrats and despots around the world were listening. Right-wing governments from Poland and Hungary to Turkey and the Philippines have cracked down on freedom of ...

Opinion: Send in the clowns; don’t bother, they’re here

All these years — 61 and counting — and not once have I been associated with a mob. Until now. This is exhilarating. “Harassing members at their homes,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told The New York Times, “crowding the halls with people acting horribly, the effort to ...

Opinion: Dire climate warning will test us

What if the end of the world came and nobody noticed? It’s not quite an idle question. You see, something remarkable happened last week. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group of scientists working under the aegis of the United Nations, issued a report on our planet’s ...

Opinion: How do we heal our epidemic of loneliness?

Washington — If Sen. Ben Sasse is right — he has not recently been wrong about anything important — the nation’s most-discussed political problem is entangled with the least-understood public health problem. The political problem is furious partisanship. The public health problem is ...

Opinion: Democrats should resist urge to fight fire with fire

Washington — One measure of the effectiveness of a political movement is how it changes its opposition. And Donald Trump is in the process of driving portions of his Democratic opposition insane. Hillary Clinton — whose warmth, integrity and down-to-earth style were the largest reasons for ...

Opinion: Western spy agencies strike back

Washington — One of the most satisfying moments in any spy thriller is when the bad guy — the black-hat operative who has been killing and tormenting his adversaries — does something dumb and gets caught. That’s essentially what’s been happening recently with Russian President ...

Opinion: A political party is not a private social club

On a Sunday morning two days before the crucial California presidential primary, hundreds of college-age volunteers crowded into their candidate’s campaign headquarters on Market Street in San Francisco to get their marching instructions for getting every registered voter the campaign had ...

Opinion: Progressives, you are the majority

Here’s what gets me about progressives. They never seem to realize that they are the majority. Yet on issue after issue, the polling consistently shows that they are. Abortion? Sixty-four percent of Americans support Roe v. Wade. Guns? Sixty-seven percent want stricter laws. Taxes? ...

Opinion: Trump’s trolling vs. ‘constitution of knowledge’

Washington — On the road again, and full of indignation about, or perhaps admiration for, what he called “made-up” and “fabricated” Democratic accusations during the recent judicial confirmation turmoil, America’s feral president swerved into a denunciation of a nonexistent bill — ...

Opinion: Kavanaugh coverage exposed flaws

Washington — In the recent Supreme Court nomination showdown, American institutions underwent a stress test. And we saw the political equivalent of the collapse of Lehman Bros. The Senate Judiciary Committee — which must work properly for the legal system to work properly — quickly ...

Opinion: Why missing journalist was beloved

Washington — George Orwell titled a regular column he wrote for a British newspaper in the mid-1940s “As I Please.” Meaning that he would write exactly what he believed. My Saudi colleague Jamal Khashoggi has always had that same insistent passion for telling the truth about his country, ...

Opinion: We will endure, and we will vote

It was only a matter of time. So many of us women, so many men who love us — we knew this was coming. We knew it when Donald Trump praised Dr. Christine Blasey Ford as “a very fine woman ... very fine woman.” We knew it when he called her Senate testimony “very compelling.” She had ...

Opinion: A few words on behalf of religion

These have been hard times for American institutions. Over the past four to five decades, confidence in nearly every institution of American life has declined. A 2018 Gallup survey found, for example, that trust in Congress stood at 42 percent in 1973 and dropped to 11 percent this year. Only ...

Opinion: Not all Republicans are on board

The other day, a woman confessed to me that she’s a Republican. Republicans may bristle at the verb, but it’s used advisedly. The lady admitted her party affiliation the way you would some personal failing. “I don’t tell a lot of people,” she said, “but . . .” In fairness, her ...