From the Left



Peace Begins With a Smile

From the Left / Mark Shields /

What do the following smile-worthy lines spoken by American politicians of the past all, surprisingly, have in common?

Rep. Brooks Hays of Arkansas used to tell about the temperance advocate in his home state who wound up, in an impassioned speech, endorsing Prohibition this way: "I'm a minister of the Gospel, and I would rather commit ...Read more

Reality Check for Democrats' Post-mortems

From the Left / Mark Shields /

In spite of the inconvenient fact that when all the votes cast have been tallied (probably in early December) Hillary Clinton could turn out to have won the national popular vote by close to 2 million votes, Donald Trump did in fact win an impressive victory Nov. 8 and will become the 45th president of the United States.

When one of the ...Read more

Gerald Ford and the 2016 Election

From the Left / Mark Shields /

On Sept. 8, 1974, one month after he became the nation's only un-elected commander in chief, President Gerald R. Ford granted a "full, free, and absolute pardon" to his predecessor, the resigned Richard M. Nixon, "for all offenses against the United States which he ... has committed or may have committed." Ford's pardoning of Nixon, a brave ...Read more

The Last Lap

From the Left / Mark Shields /

We now know that the October surprise of the 2016 presidential campaign has turned out to be first lady Michelle Obama.

When voters in the most recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll were given a list of individuals and organizations and asked to rate their feelings toward each (on a four-point scale from "very positive" to "very negative")...Read more

Concession Is Good for the Soul

From the Left / Mark Shields /

The first time I ever saw my sainted mother cry was late at night on Nov. 4, 1952, as she listened to Illinois Gov. Adlai Stevenson, the Democratic presidential nominee, graciously congratulate -- from the Leland Hotel in Springfield -- Dwight D. Eisenhower on Ike's landslide victory that day. Stevenson consoled his supporters: "Someone asked me...Read more

The Unanswered Question

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Eleven years ago, the re-elected George W. Bush was president, and Hillary Clinton was both the first woman ever elected to the U.S. Senate from New York and the first spouse of a president in U.S. history to have won election to any public office. In the Senate -- by her thorough preparation and unpretentious manner, by her faithful ...Read more

What's That Scent in the Air?

From the Left / Mark Shields /

It is all but impossible for you or for me to understand, let alone appreciate, how painfully public and publicly painful it must be for a losing major-party presidential nominee to bear the agony of losing the November general election. The first line of your obituary has now been written. Your entire life is now unfairly defined by your ...Read more

Presidential Campaigns Are About the Voters

From the Left / Mark Shields /

One of the shrewdest American politicians I both know and like, a man who has actually managed Republican presidential campaigns, was openly discouraged after the first debate between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump. "It's all about him. (Trump) has a belief that this campaign is about him," he lamented.

Like every savvy ...Read more

October in America

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Ignore, if you can, the insult marathon that passes for a national election while we turn to America's real October drama: the final chapters of our baseball season. Why? Because we Americans, especially those in my adopted hometown of Washington, urgently need, in this unhappy year of 2016, to appreciate anew the values of our national ...Read more

Debating the Future

From the Left / Mark Shields /

The presidential debates, especially this year's first scheduled one -- at New York's Hofstra University on the night of Sept. 26 -- are really a national job interview. We the people will have a chance to make our own judgments on the character, intelligence, personality and humanness of Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton.

...Read more

The Sound of History

From the Left / Mark Shields /

What comes to mind when you listen to the two last names of a presidential ticket spoken as one word? For example, I always thought the winning 1980/'84 combination of Republicans Ronald Reagan and George Bush, or "Reagan-Bush," sounded like an Oktoberfest event in Wisconsin. "We had a great time at this year's Reagan-Bush."

Did not the ...Read more

Democrats Really Need White Blue-Collar Voters

From the Left / Mark Shields /

You're a white male blue-collar voter, and you think about how your nation's political and financial establishment has treated you and yours over the past 25 years. All "the best people" -- presidents and prize-winning professors and respected editorial writers -- told you that American trade deals with Mexico and China would be good for ...Read more

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