From the Left




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

Sanders: Making His Goodbye Count

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

WASHINGTON -- Nick Salvatore, the biographer of Eugene V. Debs, wrote that the popularity of the great American Socialist leader in the early decades of the 20th century "rested upon his ability to articulate and symbolize something of the severe dislocation experienced by all Americans in the transformation to industrial capitalism."

Bernie ...Read more

Learning From Britain's Unnecessary Crisis

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

WASHINGTON -- Elites are in trouble. High levels of immigration are destabilizing our democracies. Politicians who put their short-term political interests over their countries' needs reap the whirlwind -- for themselves but, more importantly, for their nations.

Citizens who live in the economically ailing peripheries of wealthy nations are in ...Read more

Trump And The GOP's Jurassic Park

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

WASHINGTON -- The American people know extremism when they see it.

This is very unfortunate for Donald Trump. And it is a nightmare for Republican leaders who see more clearly every day how his candidacy has become a trap: They desperately want to free themselves from the moral wreckage Trump leaves behind but are stuck with a nominee who ...Read more

The GOP's Trumpian Catch-22

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

WASHINGTON -- Hillary Clinton faces a strategic choice. She can concentrate on closing off Donald Trump's potential openings with the white working class. Or she can build large leads among more affluent voters, many of whom are moderate and see Trump as dangerous, extreme and temperamentally unfit.

She will necessarily do some of both -- she ...Read more

Will Orlando Drive Us From Our Corners?

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

It only compounded the horror that the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history called forth talking points that had been composed long before 50 innocents were murdered early Sunday.

The immediate reactions on social media to the killings at Pulse Orlando, a popular gay dance club, etched a portrait of our national divisions, our mutual ...Read more

Obama And Hiroshima's Moral Lessons

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

WASHINGTON -- Unless you are a pacifist, you accept that evil acts -- the destruction of other human lives -- can be justified, even necessary, in pursuit of good and urgent ends.

But unless you are amoral, you also acknowledge the human capacity for self-delusion and selfishness. People are quite capable of justifying the utterly unjustifiable...Read more

Trumpism: Made In Europe

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

WASHINGTON -- Here's the irony of Donald Trump's "America First," immigrant-bashing, free-trade-averse, make-us-great-again nationalism: It is a European import.

The American right has typically been anti-government, reverent of the Constitution, suspicious of political strongmen and resolute in insisting that "American exceptionalism" makes us...Read more

Clinton, Sanders and 'Visionary Gradualism'

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

WASHINGTON -- The success of Bernie Sanders' insurgency is a marvel and an achievement.

His showing is a mark of the anger and frustration felt by so many Americans over the abuses of capitalism that led to the crash of 2008. With the help of millions of voters, especially the young, he has broadened a political debate long hemmed in by the ...Read more

Obama Didn't Birth Trump's Movement

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

WASHINGTON -- Blaming President Obama for the rise of Donald Trump is popular among Republican leaders. They don't want to take responsibility for the choices made by their own voters or their complicity in tolerating and even encouraging the extremism Trump represents.

They also don't want to face the fact that many Trump ballots were aimed at...Read more

Don't Mainstream Trump

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

WASHINGTON -- Donald Trump's Republican primary triumph means that this cannot be a normal election. Americans who see our country as a model of tolerance, inclusion, rationality and liberty must come together across party lines to defeat him decisively.

Many forces will be at work in the coming weeks to normalize Trump -- and, yes, the media ...Read more

The Irony of Celebrity Populism

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

BOSTON -- "When you become famous," the famous political consultant James Carville once said, "being famous becomes your profession."

It's a sign of the stunning success of Donald Trump's crossover act that we no longer even think about this campaign's most revolutionary effect on our politics: the demolition of the line between celebrity and ...Read more

The New Trump As New Coke

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

WASHINGTON -- If authenticity is your calling card, how do you become authentically inauthentic?

Welcome to the New Donald Trump, a marvel of the Twitter-Cable-Facebook Non-Industrial Complex and the age of minuscule attention spans.

It took Richard Nixon prodigious feats of hard work between 1962 and 1968 to create the New Nixon who got ...Read more

What Clinton And Sanders Owe Progressives

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

WASHINGTON -- Compared with the ferocious fractiousness of the Republican campaign, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are operating by rules inspired by St. Francis of Assisi, the gentle animal-loving holy man whom Pat Buchanan once derided as "the pacifist with the pigeons."

But with the GOP setting a very high standard for political ...Read more

In The GOP, No Room For Nice

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

WASHINGTON -- On the day that Paul Ryan said he really, truly, honestly did not want to be the Republicans' presidential savior, John Kasich did his best to channel the House speaker. Both undertakings underscored how much trouble the old pro-business, pro-tax-cut conservatism faces.

A cynic might theorize that since absence makes the heart ...Read more

The Clinton Broadway Revival

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

WASHINGTON -- It will not be the first time that a Clinton relies on the tough-minded voters of New York to salvage a front-running presidential candidacy.

On March 24, 1992, an insurgent candidate named Jerry Brown (yes, California's current governor) upended Bill Clinton, the Democrats' nominee-in-waiting, in the Connecticut primary. To re-...Read more

The End Of Trump

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

WASHINGTON -- It's time to go back where we began: not only that Donald Trump will lose the Republican presidential nomination, but that he could be so weakened by the end of the primaries that his party will not even have to worry about choosing someone else.

I feel your skepticism. Hasn't Trump so far defied all predictions of his demise? ...Read more

The Belgian X-Ray

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

WASHINGTON -- Sudden, horrific events in the middle of a presidential campaign provide an X-ray of the instincts and thinking of the candidates. We can see what their priorities are, and pick up clues about their character.

The terrorist attacks in Belgium brought out the worst in Ted Cruz and Donald Trump. Cruz demonstrated that his only focus...Read more


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