From the Left



Could Service Bring Us Together?

From the Left / E.J. Dionne Jr. /

EDITORS -- E.J. Dionne Jr. plans to file an immediate-release column Monday morning on Sunday night's presidential debate.

WASHINGTON -- After this hellacious election is over, what in the world will we do as a nation to pull ourselves together? At the moment, the polls strongly suggest that we will again vote for a divided government with a ...Read more

As The Nation Splits, So Goes Maine?

From the Left / E.J. Dionne Jr. /

PORTLAND, Maine -- "As Maine goes, so goes the nation." It was a popular slogan about American politics until the 1936 presidential election. Alf Landon, the Republican nominee, carried Maine that year against Franklin D. Roosevelt -- and only one other state.

James Farley, an FDR political maestro, rewrote the slogan: "As Maine goes, so goes ...Read more

How Trump Corrupts The GOP

From the Left / E.J. Dionne Jr. /

MANCHESTER, N.H. -- Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., has tried for months to walk a high wire on the vexing subject of Donald Trump. This week, she fell off.

Her tumble, on what most of us would see as an easy question about whether Trump should be regarded as a "role model," came during a debate Monday night with Gov. Maggie Hassan, her Democratic ...Read more

Clinton Shifts The Election In Her Direction

From the Left / E.J. Dionne Jr. /

WASHINGTON -- Donald Trump scowled and fumed and fussed and interrupted. On Monday night, he was forced to defend business practices that involved not paying workers and contractors, a tax plan that offers most of its benefits to the wealthy, the fact that he did not pay any federal taxes in some years (which he called "smart") and the debt ...Read more

Americans Are Deciding For The World

From the Left / E.J. Dionne Jr. /

WASHINGTON -- Like it or not, the decision we make in this November's election will be a choice on behalf of the entire world. How we vote will determine whether the forces of democracy, openness and religious tolerance remain strong, or whether our country throws in its lot with tribalism, prejudice and authoritarianism.

This sounds like ...Read more

Debate Moderators Shouldn't Duck

From the Left / E.J. Dionne Jr. /

WASHINGTON -- I don't envy Lester Holt. No matter what he does in the first presidential debate, he'll be denounced. But this certainty should be liberating. If you know the brickbats will come one way or the other, you might as well do the right thing.

But is there a "right thing" that doesn't coincide with someone's political agenda? That is ...Read more

This Election's Faith-Based Candidate

From the Left / E.J. Dionne Jr. /

WASHINGTON -- This is the inversion election, a contest in which so many of our familiar mental categories have been turned upside down.

This year, it's the Republican presidential candidate who says the United States isn't great anymore and the Democrat who insists it is. The Republican says that the former KGB agent now presiding over Russia ...Read more

The Corrupt One Is Trump

From the Left / E.J. Dionne Jr. /

WASHINGTON -- Better than anyone, Donald Trump made the case for why our campaign money system is rotten. Unsurprisingly, the prime example he used was himself.

"I was a businessman," Trump explained at a Republican debate in August 2015. "I give to everybody. When they call, I give. And you know what? When I need something from them two years ...Read more

Why Clinton Republicans Matter

From the Left / E.J. Dionne Jr. /

WASHINGTON -- Not since Barry Goldwater's 1964 campaign has there been such widespread public disavowal by Republicans of their party's nominee. The Hillary Clinton Republicans will be one of the most important legacies of the 2016 campaigns.

The question is whether they will constitute the forward end of a political realignment, or just a one-...Read more

In Search Of Humble Prophets

From the Left / E.J. Dionne Jr. /

WASHINGTON -- Over the last several decades, those who view religion with respect regularly come back to the same question: What has happened to the religious intellectuals, the thinkers taken seriously by nonbelievers as well as believers?

In this increasingly secular time, a natural follow-up question ratifies the point of the original query:...Read more

Trump's Bannon Bomb

From the Left / E.J. Dionne Jr. /

WASHINGTON -- If you thought the old Donald Trump campaign was wild and crazy, just wait for the new Trump campaign now that Breitbart's Steve Bannon has taken over as chief executive.

The new leadership -- with Bannon and pollster Kellyanne Conway displacing Paul Manafort of the Ukranian Connection at the top of the heap -- is likely to steer ...Read more

Politics As An Olympian Endeavor

From the Left / E.J. Dionne Jr. /

WASHINGTON -- Simone Manuel, Katie Ledecky and Simone Biles will not be eligible to run for president until 2032, although Michael Phelps hits 35 years old in 2020. After watching these Olympians display so many traits we admire -- persistence, discipline, grace, goal orientation, resilience, and inner strength -- perhaps we should consider ...Read more

Trump Confronts 'Common Decency'

From the Left / E.J. Dionne Jr. /

YORK, Pa. If Donald Trump doesnt carry Pennsylvania, his chances of becoming president reach the vanishing point. For now, hes in deep trouble in a place that, demographically, ought to be a Trumpian promised land.

A poll released Tuesday, by NBC News, the Wall Street Journal and Marist, found Hillary Clinton leading by 11 points in ...Read more

Clinton's Big Bang Politics

From the Left / E.J. Dionne Jr. /

WASHINGTON -- Donald Trump has handed Hillary Clinton an opportunity few politicians ever get: She has a chance to realign American politics. Trump's ugly ethnic nationalism, his authoritarianism and his dark view of the country he would lead have put the Republican Party on the wrong side of patriotism, optimism and the future.

GOP politicians...Read more

Clinton Takes The Fight To Trump

From the Left / E.J. Dionne Jr. /

PHILADELPHIA -- Charging that Donald Trump "wants us to fear the future and fear each other," Hillary Clinton took him on with the most powerful line in her party's tradition.

"Well, a great Democratic president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, came up with the perfect rebuke to Trump more than 80 years ago, during a much more perilous time: 'The ...Read more

Obama: Continuity We Can Believe In

From the Left / E.J. Dionne Jr. /

PHILADELPHIA -- Barack Obama's mission on behalf of Hillary Clinton is personal and political. He is testifying to her virtues as a would-be president in a way only a current president can. He insists that the administration both of them helped fashion has been good for the country. And he is safeguarding his legacy by ensuring his time in the ...Read more

Bill Clinton's Most Important Speech

From the Left / E.J. Dionne Jr. /

PHILADELPHIA -- It was hard to imagine that Bill Clinton could make as powerful a speech on behalf of his wife as he did on behalf of Barack Obama four years ago.

Advocating Obama's re-election required an extended argument about public policy, a persuasive mobilization of facts and figures, and a series of pokes at the Republican Party. Few ...Read more


From the Left / E.J. Dionne Jr. /

The Republican Party came to life as the bastion of "Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Speech, Free Men." It was a reformist party dedicated to stopping the spread of slavery and to fighting a "Slave Power" its founders saw as undermining free institutions.

The new political organization grew out of the old Whigs and reflected the faith that Henry ...Read more

Mike Pence Is A Sign Of Trump's Weakness

From the Left / E.J. Dionne Jr. /

Donald Trump's selection of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his running mate is just what everyone is saying it is: a safe, traditional choice. Pence won't hurt Trump too much and may help him with Republican politicians and some conservatives.

But the pick is also -- and more importantly -- something else: a sign of real weakness. There were many ...Read more

Clinton's Room To Grow

From the Left / E.J. Dionne Jr. /

WASHINGTON -- The year's political cliche is that Americans will be choosing this fall between two of the most unpopular presidential candidates in our republic's history. Hillary Clinton is in the midst of a concerted effort to change that story line. And the not-so-distant past suggests that she has a fighting chance of succeeding.

The ...Read more


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