From the Left



Are Tables Turning on the Abortion Issue Since Dobbs? Be Careful What You Ask For

From the Left / Clarence Page /

I’m sure I wasn’t the only TV viewer who stuck a finger in my ear and jiggled it after I heard former President Donald Trump criticize the six-week abortion ban brought about by his Republican opponent Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Or as Trump famously rebranded him “Ron DeSanctimonious.” The Donald has hardly lost his knack for ...Read more

MAGA Was Only the Beginning of Mitt Romney’s Worries

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Like numerous other folks who did not support Mitt Romney’s election when he was challenging then-President Barack Obama in 2012, I think he looks a lot better to me now than he did then — and not just because he decided to retire from the Senate.

Compared with what came after his candidacy — Donald Trump’s victory for the GOP in 2016 �...Read more

Yes, Black Parents Like School Choice Too

From the Left / Clarence Page /

So now it’s Chicago Teachers Union President Stacy Davis Gates’ turn to be pilloried for sending a child to a private high school.

“That story sounds familiar,” said my very astute wife, a product of Chicago public schools.

It should sound familiar and not only in Chicago.

It has become a grand tradition in journalism and politics to ...Read more

New York is Having an Immigration Crisis? Join the Club of Receiving Cities

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Mayor Eric Adams is earning praise from Republicans, which is always a danger sign for Democrats.

He’s also receiving criticism from members of his own party, which is nothing out of the blue either.

The reactions came after he told an audience of Upper West Side residents that the city’s continuing influx of thousands of migrants “will ...Read more

‘Can You Hear Gunshots?’ Student Texts Reveal Horrors from Inside an Active Shooter Lockdown

From the Left / Clarence Page /

An “active shooter” situation is a hell of a way to start a school year — and I do mean hell.

That’s what it was like for students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill after associate professor Zijie Yan was fatally shot in a science building on the campus.

Police said they arrested graduate student Tailei Qi, 34, of ...Read more

Not Even the Reality of Racial Violence Can Overcome the Razzle-Dazzle of a Presidential Candidate

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Sixty years after the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic March on Washington, much of his dream is still just a dream.

I’d like to offer a more cheerful message, but that’s hard today, even for a resilient self-described optimist like me, after this year’s anniversary march on the Washington Mall was followed the next day by a ...Read more

Republicans Seek Strength in the GOP Debate After Donald Trump’s Indictments

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Vivek Ramaswamy got off to a great start in this primary season’s first Republican presidential debate, and then things slid rapidly downhill.

The 38-year-old entrepreneur and graduate of Harvard University and Yale Law School is a new face in politics, national or otherwise, as his opening line suggested with an indirect reference to another...Read more

Will the Upending of the ‘Blind Side’ Story Help Chill Hollywood’s ‘White Savior’ Complex?

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Too bad. I really wanted to believe “The Blind Side,” even though I knew it was sort of a fairy tale for grown-ups — or for kids who want to sound like grown-ups.

I’m old-fashioned enough to believe that a heartwarming story with the “BOATS” label — “based on a true story” — is Hollywood’s way of reassuring me that all is ...Read more

Why #MontgomeryRiverfrontBrawl Gained New Meaning in Black Conversations

From the Left / Clarence Page /

It’s summertime but, contrary to George Gershwin’s classic tune from “Porgy and Bess,” the livin’ was not easy at the event memorialized in a social media hashtag as simply #MontgomeryRiverfrontBrawl.

Brawl, indeed. The melee is a mess to sort out, but my guess is that alcohol was involved.

What else explains the rapid and ridiculous...Read more

Clarence Page: A crisis of masculinity? More like politics as usual

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Perhaps it’s only coincidental but this, the summer of “Barbie,” also is the summer of our discontent in politics — over manhood.

Sen. Josh Hawley, a Missouri Republican, helped to get the ball rolling with a new book, “Manhood: The Masculine Virtues America Needs.”

I thought it was rather amusing since my vivid memories of Hawley ...Read more

Clarence Page: Slavery has benefits, Gov. DeSantis? Only when it stops

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Standing his ground, even as it turns into political quicksand beneath his feet, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has dug in his heels to defend a barely defensible passage in his state’s new slavery education curriculum.

The GOP governor’s African American History Standards panel proposed a new social studies and African American curriculum plan ...Read more

A ‘Woke’ Military? Don’t Forget the Messy Race Relations That Got Us Here

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Recent Republican moves to limit diversity training and transgender rights and other hot-button controversies stemming from the annual defense authorization bill remind me of my own days in uniform back when some of those diversity policies were being created.

Lucky me, I was drafted in 1969, a dark time that some military officials called the ...Read more

The Defense Bill is No Longer a No-Brainer as Speaker McCarthy Gives in to Far-Right Faction

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Despite the rowdy episodes of fussing, feuding and fighting that we see erupt out of the Congress, matters as routine as the annual defense policy bill have tended to slide through without much opposition. Until this year.

In the past week, the traditional bipartisan support behind defense broke down into an unusually bitter debate in the House...Read more

Clarence Thomas’ American Dream — With a Little Help From His Friends

From the Left / Clarence Page /

If you live long enough to see your heroes deposed from their former glory by the exposure of long-hidden truths, it can make you feel as though, maybe, you have lived too long.

I had heard of Horatio Alger, but not the Association of Distinguished Americans that was named after him — until I heard that their honored members included ...Read more

A College-Level Challenge: When Free Speech Sounds Like Cyberbullying

From the Left / Clarence Page /

A University of Chicago student who happens to be white objected to an undergraduate anthropology class titled “The Problem of Whiteness.”

Daniel Schmidt, a sophomore who didn’t know the lecturer, was outraged — and he showed it in a tweet that happened to include the lecturer’s photo and email address.

If you know anything about the...Read more

A Troubling Supreme Court Defense of Free Speech at the Sxpense of LGBTQ Rights

From the Left / Clarence Page /

As a strong believer in the First Amendment, I respect the Colorado graphics artist who didn’t want to make wedding websites for gay couples, even though I strongly oppose her stance.

That’s partly because I’m old enough to remember road trips with my family to visit Southern relatives in the last days of Jim Crow racial segregation in ...Read more

At Least the Supreme Court Offered Alternatives to Affirmative Action

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Reading about the Supreme Court’s unsurprising affirmative action ruling, I was reminded of Sen. Hubert Humphrey’s defense of the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act.

If anyone can find language in the bill, said the Minnesota Democrat, that would require an employer to hire based on percentage or quota related to color, race, religion or ...Read more

History is Flexible for Trump’s MAGA Troops

From the Left / Clarence Page /

I used to believe, as George Santayana is said to have said, “Those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them.”

Nowadays, amid culture wars and the rise of former — and possibly future — President Donald Trump’s MAGA movement, Santayana’s sentiment might as well be “If you don’t like history, rewrite it....Read more

Supreme Court Ethics? More Than ‘Balls and Strikes’

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Is the Supreme Court ready for reform yet?

That’s my updated version of the immortal declaration that legendary alderman and saloonkeeper Mathias “Paddy” Bauler reportedly delivered on the night of Richard J. Daley’s first election as Chicago’s mayor in 1955: “Chicago ain’t ready for reform yet.”

I asked myself the same ...Read more

A Supreme Court Surprise. How the Right Rescued the Voting Rights Act

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Although largely upstaged by former President Donald Trump’s federal indictment, the Supreme Court’s voting rights decision earlier this month is likely to have a game-changing impact for many years to come.

What the court decided is almost as surprising as who decided it. By a 5-to-4 vote, justices from the conservative and liberal sides ...Read more



Jeff Koterba Jack Ohman Ed Gamble Christopher Weyant Dave Granlund David M. Hitch