National Columns

Opinion: For the survivors of gun violence, we remember

In two weeks’ time, three mass shootings killed 34 people and left dozens more injured. We were outraged and in shock, and for a few days we managed to sustain a collective call for new laws that would make our country safer. Now, we are moving on. This is our human nature, to search for ...

Opinion: What Hong Kong really means for us

The protests in Hong Kong are heartbreaking to witness. I recall the gloom that accompanied the handover of sovereignty ceremony in 1997. Prince Charles was there. So was Tony Blair. Only eight years had passed since the communist Chinese government had mowed down an estimated 10,000 democracy ...

Opinion: ‘Peculiar institution’ shaped today

Perhaps you’ve heard of white fragility. The term was popularized by sociologist Robin DiAngelo in her 2018 book of the same name that seeks to explain why white people often find it so hard to discuss race, why the subject frequently makes them angry and defensive. Well, a textbook example ...

Opinion: Amash shows that it’s not just a binary choice

Grand Rapids, Michigan — It is difficult to discourage and impossible to manage Justin Amash because he, unusual among politicians, does not want much and wants nothing inordinately. He would like to win a sixth term as congressman from this culturally distinctive slice of the Midwest. He ...

Opinion: White evangelicals risk the reputation of the gospel

Washington — I have a confession to make. I am one of the five remaining Americans who is uncomfortable with vulgarity, put off by profanity and offended by blasphemy. Swearing is now generally taken as a sign of authenticity; it is more often the expression of anger and aggression. I don’t ...

Opinion: Land of the free and home of the rent-seekers

Chicago — Given its surplus of violence and scarcity of resources, Chicago surely has bigger things to worry about than the menace, as the city sees it, of Laura Pekarik’s cupcakes. Herewith redundant evidence of regulatory government’s unsleeping solicitousness for the strong. Pekarik, ...

Opinion: The ‘moral hazard’ in Hong Kong

Washington — Watching videos of Chinese protestors singing the U.S. national anthem in the streets of Hong Kong, or hearing the tear-jerking chorus of "Les Miserables" during a sit-in at the Hong Kong airport, only someone with a heart of stone wouldn't want to assist these brave people who ...

Opinion: Credibility needed in Epstein case

Jeffrey Epstein didn’t commit suicide. He was murdered by Hillary and/or Bill Clinton. Or he was assassinated by the Russians. Or Donald Trump killed him. Or he isn’t dead at all, having been spirited into the Witness Protection Program, where he presumably now shares an island mansion ...

Opinion: America’s new Sputnik moment

La Jolla, Calif. — One of the weirdest aspects of this year’s Democratic presidential campaign is that foreign policy, potentially one of President Trump’s most vulnerable issues, has been nearly absent from the debate. Trump is steering the country into a foolish trade war with China ...

Opinion: Passing laws, passing taxes and passing the buck

What do the French digital services tax, the employers’ share of payroll taxes and the corporate income tax all have in common? They are rarely shouldered by those entities and individuals targeted by legislators. In fact, one of the most important things to know about taxes is that the ...

Opinion: Undermining belief in truth itself

Washington — President Trump will do just about anything to get his daily, hypodermic fix of attention, including the spread of racist tropes and conspiracy theories. And no, I am not starting a rumor that Trump is secretly a drug addict. It is a metaphor. But if my editors and their fact ...

Opinion: A cosmetic proposal on guns may help

It seems necessary to begin every discussion in America today with a reminder to show a little charity. If you oppose gun control, don’t assume that those proposing restrictions on gun purchases are merely using the latest atrocity as an excuse for confiscation. Likewise, gun opponents should ...

Opinion: We cannot afford cynicism

Our 11-year-old grandson is with us for the week, and we are having the sort of conversations that indicate the learning has just begun — for me. He and his parents recently completed a move of more than 2,000 miles. This is quite the adjustment for all involved, including their 4-year-old ...

Opinion: 50 years on, Woodstock spirit remains

Teenagers were invented in the late 1950s. If that’s an exaggeration, it’s not as much of one as you may think. While there had — obviously — been teenagers before, it wasn’t until the leading edge of the Baby Boom reached that milestone that the word took on its modern meaning. In ...

Opinion: ‘National conservatives’ look just like Dems

Washington — Regimes, however intellectually disreputable, rarely are unable to attract intellectuals eager to rationalize the regimes’ behavior. America’s current administration has “national conservatives.” They advocate unprecedented expansion of government in order to purge ...

Opinion: The emotional resonance of Pollack’s ‘Amazing Grace’

Washington — The concert film “Amazing Grace” accomplishes something I thought impossible — capturing the Holy Ghost on celluloid. Over two days in 1972, director Sydney Pollack filmed Aretha Franklin as she was recording the best- selling gospel album of all time. The setting was the ...

Opinion: Refusing federal aid has a high cost

Kansas’s share of federal dollars has been dropping precipitously in recent years. According to research conducted by the nonpartisan Pew Charitable Trusts, federal grants in Kansas as a portion of state revenues fell from 33% in 2011 to 23% in 2017. That steep drop, due largely to rejecting ...

Opinion: Marines’ leader sets bar for reform

Washington — The Pentagon is buzzing about a potentially revolutionary order by the new Marine Corps commandant that bluntly answers the essential question for would-be military reformers: What should we discard from the legacy arsenal to make room for what we need to fight the wars of the ...

Opinion: We have the power to fix gun violence

And again. And still. Nine people shot dead in Dayton, 13 hours after 22 shot dead in El Paso, six days after three shot dead in Gilroy. And tears and disbelief and funeral preparations, candlelight vigils and a search for meaning, and talking heads on cable news and T-shirts and hashtags ...

Opinion: Trump’s coarseness suffuses the social environment

“It is remarkable by how much a pinch of malice enhances the penetrating power of an idea or an opinion. Our ears, it seems, are wonderfully attuned to sneers and evil reports about our fellow men.” — Eric Hoffer Washington — It is 1,218 miles from the Aaron Bessant Park Amphitheater ...