Columns

Column: What’s Behind Polarization of Voters?

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Washington So accustomed are we to highlighting the polarized nature of our politics that we often forget how many Americans decline to be painted in bright reds or bright blues. Among us, there are pinks and turquoises and even purples. And these voters will matter a great deal to the elections in 2016 and beyond. To understand a rather strange moment during which Donald Trump exercises a hypnotic control over …

Column: There Is Blame to Go Around in Bland Case

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Washington One would hope that it is possible for a white policeman and a black citizen to come into contact in a routine traffic stop without it becoming a matter of race and ending badly. But maybe not. Certainly the matter of Sandra Bland would dictate that it isn’t. Bland’s suicide in a …

Column: Police, Power and the People They Serve

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

I am struggling mightily with the death of Sandra Bland. Struggling to understand it, struggling with the tragedy of it, and struggling especially with how utterly unnecessary and unfair it feels. And how depressing it is to watch the video of her initial encounter with police. I am struggling with whether the nation that watches the video can see itself. At one point, …

Column: The Case for the Iran Deal

Friday, July 24, 2015

When President Obama took office, he faced an Iran that had mastered the nuclear fuel cycle, had constructed a covert uranium enrichment facility inside a mountain, was on its way to installing nearly 20,000 centrifuges for uranium enrichment, was developing advanced centrifuges and was building a heavy-water reactor …

Editorial: A Poor Check-Up for Planet Earth

Friday, July 24, 2015

The climate got its annual physical last week, and the results were not good. The comprehensive report, compiled by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, found that last year was the warmest in the 135-year record of modern temperature measurement. One very hot year doesn’t prove that the …

Kasich Offers GOP a Path to the White House

Thursday, July 23, 2015

If the Republicans want to save themselves from the demolition derby of their presidential primary race, they would flock to the side of Ohio Gov. John Kasich. Kasich stands out in the field. He broke records in his …

Yes, Philosophy Could Trend on Facebook

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Academic philosophers tend to have a narrow view of what is valuable philosophical work. Hiring, tenure, promotion and prestige depend mainly on one’s ability to produce journal articles in a particular theoretical, abstract style, mostly in reaction to a small group of canonical and 20th century figures, for …

Willem Lange: If It Sounds Too Good to Be True ...

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Montpelier Many years ago (Good grief! Was it almost half a century?), during my days as a high school English teacher, the sophomores and I were briefly studying advertising. One morning, quite casually, I mentioned that the school maintenance people were concerned about air circulation in the classrooms. …

Column: From One Billionaire to Another

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

I’m worth $10 billion. There, I’ve said it and it feels good. I’ve always been hesitant about disclosing my wealth, largely because going public creates a lot of problems that average Americans aren’t familiar with: cold calls from …

Column: Candidates Agreeing to Disagree, Even When They Agree

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

With the spotlight on Donald Trump’s continuing attacks on John McCain, you may have missed a more traditional skirmish in nomination politicking: the pretend fight between Jeb Bush and Scott Walker over the U.S. deal with Iran. At issue (supposedly) is whether the new president will start to …

Column: Clinton’s Growth Agenda

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

For most of a generation, Democrats have divided into two broad camps on economic policy. There are “growth Democrats,” who argue that a rising tide will lift all boats; that was the reigning view during the Bill Clinton administration under Treasury Secretaries Robert Rubin and Lawrence H. Summers. …

Column: Border ‘Crisis’ Is Easing, Not Getting Worse

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Washington Donald Trump is entitled to his own opinions, not his own facts, to paraphrase Daniel Patrick Moynihan. Trump gets a lot wrong in his comments about immigration and Mexico. There is no evidence that Mexican officials are dispatching criminals across a porous border, and immigrants don’t commit …

Column: Court Must Uphold Religious Freedom

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

A group of Catholic nuns, the Little Sisters of the Poor, wants relief from the Affordable Care Act’s mandate that it offer contraceptive coverage to its employees. The nuns lost a court case last week — and everyone who cares about religious freedom should be troubled by the …