CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- When it comes to rhetoric, Plato was right and Aristotle -- not so much.
Distilled, Aristotle thought rhetoric good for democracy, though his definition of "by the people" was closer to our Founding Fathers' intent of only certain people than to today's more-the-merrier model. Given this assumption of a narrow, educated,...Read more
CHARLESTON, S.C. -- African-Americans in the South can't get a break when it comes to voting, as history can't deny.
After all they've endured through slavery, Jim Crow and the fight for civil rights, their voices are still treated dismissively by tone-deaf politicians who would ask for their votes.
If you're thinking Bernie Sanders, you're ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- As Archie Bunker might say, the world is going down the terlet.
Who could have predicted that politics would require serious discussion of who uses what restroom? Or, personally speaking, a second column?
Alas, it seems that yet greater clarity is needed regarding this terribly serious, faux dilemma of proper bathroom ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- As the human circus of presidential politics has plodded along for what seems a decade now, a revolution has been taking place in the ever-more-dignified animal kingdom.
Several victories in just the past few weeks have raised cheers, or their equivalent, in aquariums, barnyards and board rooms across the country as three giants ...Read more
EASTON, Md. -- It's been a long while since South Carolina could look down upon its neighbor to the North.
Thanks to North Carolina's anti-LGBT legislation (HB2), also referred to as the "bathroom bill," the state effectively has begun redefining itself from its long-popular characterization as a "valley of humility between two mountains of ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Imagine emerging from a rocky political week only to announce, as Bernie Sanders did, that, oh, by the way, the Vatican called. Actually, it was the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, but close enough, I suppose.
Hillary Clinton thought bubble: He's Jewish for crying out loud. What am I, chopped liver? No, I'm Methodist! ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- The spectacular strangeness of this presidential election may require a new display in Ripley's Odditorium of believe-it-or-nots.
Among the exhibits, curators might place the History of Conventional Wisdom, wherein the page titled "Populists Never Win in America" has a large, red X drawn through the word "never."
Like all things ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Donald Trump is learning how hard it is to pretend to be something he's not.
Case in point: Since deciding to run for president -- and maybe before, but who knows? -- Trump has insisted he is pro-life. America learned otherwise with his recent remarks that a woman should be punished were she to have an illegal abortion. Since ...Read more
SHOT DOWN: The true story of pilot Howard Snyder and the crew of the B-17 Susan RuthSteve Snyder
An Amazon #1 Best Seller and winner of 15 national book awards, SHOT DOWN is set within the framework of World War II in Europe and recounts the dramatic experiences of each member of a ten man B-17 bomber crew after their plane, piloted by the author's father, was knocked out of the sky by ...
WASHINGTON -- So what are we to do?
This is a familiar question to opinion writers. Translation: You've told us what's wrong with everything -- and we agree. But, what's the action plan?
Ah. The action plan. I hoped you'd never ask.
A reader recently wrote three of us Washington Post columnists along these lines: "I feel your frustration and...Read more
WASHINGTON -- When a presidential election devolves into a hydrant-watering contest between leading contenders about the relative attractiveness of their respective wives, not only does America look ridiculous but we diminish our moral standing to denounce other cultures' marginalization of women.
It's that bad.
This latest tantrum-a-deux ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Now that Donald Trump has spoken before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), a pro-Israel lobbying group, Americans have learned the following:
Trump can read a teleprompter; he finally got someone to write him a decent speech, which he was able to deliver without resorting to vulgarities; and he has provided ...Read more
MIAMI BEACH -- One wouldn't call them bedfellows, strange or otherwise, but President Obama and Donald Trump are bothinadvertently helping the Islamic State through rhetoric that is either too cautious or too rash.
It shouldn't be difficult to discern which is which.
Obama, through his studious avoidance of explicitly calling terrorists...Read more
WASHINGTON -- As Donald Trump continues to surge forward as the most-likely Republican nominee, perfectly sane people are beginning to wonder: "Was there something we missed? Maybe he's not really so bad?"
Shed that self-doubt and purge the thought. You're not wrong -- and he's that bad. Just ask the Breitbart reporter who was roughed up at a ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Soon after "The Prince of Tides" became a blockbuster movie in 1991, People magazine put the film's leading man, Nick Nolte, on its cover as the "Sexiest Man Alive."
This couldn't possibly be true, I thought (and wrote) at the time. Nolte, who played protagonist Tom Wingo, was a good-looking actor who did well by his role. But ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- So it has come to this: A brokered convention or President Hillary Clinton.
These options seem to be what's left to Republicans of conscience, who are, let's face it, rather Romney-come-latelys to the pyre. They're based on the following evidence: It is highly unlikely that Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio or John Kasich can wrest the ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- By now it's obvious that lecturing Donald Trump supporters about why they shouldn't vote for him only confirms their convictions.
If you're part of the "establishment," which approximately means anyone who has served in government or, grab your garlic garland, a member of the media, your opinion matters less than whatever you ...Read more
FLORENCE, S.C. -- If Donald Trump speaks for disenfranchised whites, Hillary Clinton speaks mostly to blacks who feel the same.
But the differences in how people, left and right, perceive the world's injustices -- and the various approaches today's presidential front-runners are bringing to Super Tuesday -- suggest that we dwell in worlds apart...Read more
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Americans aren't the only people who are fascinated by South Carolina politics and the presidential primary process.
During the past several days, including Saturday's Republican primary and Tuesday night's Democratic town hall, a variety of foreign dignitaries have visited the state to catch the spectacle. Ahem, I mean to ...Read more
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The popular wisdom that opposites attract is true in both romance and politics.
But rarely do adages prove so profoundly -- and absurdly -- true as during the recent, media-created dialogue between Pope Francis and Donald Trump.
Set aside for a moment that this mini-uproar, spawned by a reporter's question and poached by ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- As Republican presidential candidates invoke Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's legacy, all insisting that his suddenly vacant seat shouldn't be filled until a new president is in place, it is helpful to ask: What would Scalia do?
First, Scalia would read the law and, without much chin-stroking, recommend the obvious intent ...Read more