From the Left



The Alchemy of Turning Bribes Into Gifts

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Back when I worked for the claims department of a major insurance company, I got stuff. Some of the stuff consisted of tickets to Broadway shows and sporting events and sometimes I got bottles of booze, Canadian Club being a popular choice for some reason. These items were tendered to me by auto appraisers, repair shops and other firms, large ...Read more

Trump's Hollow Yet Damaging Charge of Fraud

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

At the time Germany signed the armistice ending World War I, no battles had been fought on its territory and no foreign army had invaded it. The German people suffered greatly -- food shortages and the like -- but defeat to many did not seem to come from the battlefield in front but from traitorous civilians from behind. This came to be known as...Read more

Has Trump Jumped the Shark?

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

The other night, I went to a dinner party. The guests were all friends of mine -- a scattering of writers and some business people -- and we talked about the ouster of Roger Ailes amid a sexual harassment scandal and wondered why he was awarded a multimillion-dollar settlement and we talked about the travails of his boss, that incredibly ...Read more

My Trump Addiction

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

PARIS -- I awake to brilliant sunshine. It is a glorious day here on the Left Bank, a short walk from the storied cafe Les Deux Magots where I'm told Hemingway has preceded me. What shall I do today? There is a wonderful exhibition of Picasso sculptures at the Picasso Museum and one of contemporary Chinese art at the Louis Vuitton Foundation and...Read more

Trump Dishonors the Ultimate Sacrifice

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Donald Trump betrays the betrayed.

In his acceptance speech at the Republican convention, Trump accurately and forcibly identified his core constituency and explained his candidacy:

"Every day I wake up determined to deliver for the people I have met all across this nation that have been neglected, ignored and abandoned. I have visited the ...Read more

If Hillary Clinton Were a Man

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

What if Hillary Clinton were a man? What if she were a 68-year-old man rather than a 68-year-old woman? Would we think differently of her? Her raised voice would be lower. She would be better at physically commanding the stage. Her indomitability might be seen as manly. If she were taller and bigger, might she have been able to get away with ...Read more

Pining for Obama

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Calvin Trillin, the Mark Twain of our times, once wrote that sooner or later in a new administration, he starts to miss the preceding one. I know precisely how he feels. I already miss the Obama administration.

I am not being precipitous. The next president of the United States is going to be Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. Neither one has ...Read more

Clinton Survives Another Salem Trial

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Just as there was never any doubt that Bill Clinton had sex with "that woman," there was never any doubt that Hillary Clinton mishandled her emails. And just as there was never any doubt that the Republicans overreacted to Bill Clinton's shenanigans, so too is there no doubt that they have done the same over Hillary's server. Something about the...Read more

Butterfly Wings That Didn't Flutter

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

What shall we call the butterfly?

The butterfly I have in mind is the one that illustrates chaos theory: It flutters its diaphanous wings, stirring the slightest breeze, which connects with others until, thousands of miles away, it forms the essential ingredient for a hurricane. Can we call this butterfly Brexit?

I mean, why not? It qualifies....Read more

Trump Ain't Got No Class

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

For the Trump kids, it may be time for another meeting with dad. A previous one resulted in the canning of Corey Lewandowski and his exiling to CNN. Since then, the plight of the Trump campaign has become even more dire: Donald Trump has fallen in the polls and he made a perfect fool of himself in Scotland, possibly a personal best. Now, though,...Read more

A Contrast in Heroes

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

My heroes are not necessarily people of great ability but ones who did what I think I could not. Two contemporary men fall into that category. The first is the late Muhammad Ali, maybe the greatest fighter of all time, and the second is John McCain. Now, from the grave, Ali reprimands McCain.

Both Ali and McCain chose to make sacrifices on ...Read more

The Absurd Availability of Assault Weapons

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

A man walks into a nightclub with an AR-15. It is similar to the weapon I was trained on in the Army. It was designed for combat, to kill as many of the enemy as possible in the shortest amount of time. I was pretty good with it, even earned a marksmanship badge, but when the training was over and we returned to the barracks, our weapons were ...Read more

Trump Has Taught Me to Fear My Fellow Americans

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

What word comes to mind when you see the name Donald Trump? For some people, it might be "anger," since he provokes it and stokes it. For others, it might be "ignorance," since he knows so little and, like many unburdened by knowledge, is untroubled by facts. Some might say "fear," since it would take some scary police tactics to push 11 million...Read more

Bathroom Bigotry, Then and Now

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

She was Japanese, a temp sent over by some naive agency to fill a spot in the files department. Back then, before computers, an enormous room was devoted to files. This was at an insurance company where I worked. It was located in the Empire State Building, ninth floor. The company had only a corner of the floor; the rest was taken up by another...Read more

Can Priebus Kick His awful Trump Habit?

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

I don't know Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican Party (such as it is). He may be a very nice guy, what with a wife and kids and probably a car or two. Still, after watching him on the Sunday interview shows, I have concluded that the man has no pride, no shame and, almost certainly, no future. After Donald Trump loses the presidency,...Read more

In the White House, a Dangerous Pride

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

I've read a fair amount of books on foreign policy in recent years, yet the one that's always made the greatest impression on me was assigned to our class in the sixth grade. It was Esther Forbes' novel "Johnny Tremain," and the lesson I took from it was the very one Johnny himself had to learn the hard way: "Pride goeth before a fall." Maybe ...Read more

The Sound of Contempt

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

If Donald Trump looked at a demographic profile of his supporters, he would emit a dismissive sneer. They are disproportionally out of work or not seeking it. If they do have a job, they're probably working with their hands, maybe something a machine will do better or someone overseas will do cheaper. A large share have only a high school ...Read more


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