From the Left



Twitter’s action against Trump opens a can of First Amendment worms

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Ironies abound in the debate over free speech, now that Twitter has taken away President Donald Trump’s favorite bullhorn.

“We are living Orwell’s 1984,” his son Donald Trump Jr. tweeted in his dad’s defense on his own Twitter account. “Free-speech no longer exists in America.”

Oh, it’s not that bad. Junior’s Twitter remained...Read more

Pro-Trump protesters can be thieves, too

From the Left / Clarence Page /

“Protesters? Sorry, they look like looters to me.”

That was how I responded last summer when a Black Lives Matter organizer tried to justify a brutal rampage of thievery and vandalism through downtown Chicago’s ritziest shopping district as a protest against police brutality.

And that’s how I feel now about the angry tide of President ...Read more

Two cheerleaders and the F-I-G-H-T for free speech

From the Left / Clarence Page /

In some ways, it makes perfect sense that the future of free speech on the internet could turn on the cases of a couple of high school cheerleaders.

Young people take it as their self-appointed duty to test boundaries, and the internet offers an abundance of boundaries to test.

In January the Supreme Court will consider whether to hear the ...Read more

When Hollywood came to my Ohio hometown (the book was better)

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Among other momentous events, I’ll remember 2020 as the year when, decades after leaving my Ohio hometown, Hollywood brought it back to me.

Appropriately, reactions to Ron Howard’s film, “Hillbilly Elegy,” have been about as polarized as the politics that helped turn J.D. Vance’s memoir into a breakout hit in the 2016 election cycle. ...Read more

Biden’s reputation for bipartisanship faces the test

From the Left / Clarence Page /

WASHINGTON — President-elect Joe Biden’s long history of reaching across the aisle in the Senate may well hold the key to his legislative success in the Oval Office. Evidence of that hope was his visit to Georgia last week to support two Democrats for Senate seats at stake in a runoff election there on January 5.

Biden, who carried the ...Read more

Will Trump run again in 2024? He lays the groundwork now

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Editor's note: Mr. Witcover is filling in while Mr. Page is away.

WASHINGTON—Not content with trying to rain on President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, outgoing President Donald Trump has signaled he may seek to recapture the Oval Office four years from now and is building a campaign war chest to that end.

At a White House Christmas ...Read more

Yes, we do have a lot to be thankful for: Each other

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Trying to find something to be thankful for in 2020? Tough task.

Facing it reminds me of the old joke that President Ronald Reagan loved to tell about a very optimistic little boy and a pile of horse manure.

Thrilled by the pile of poop, the little boy happily jumped onto it and started digging, saying, “There must be a pony in here ...Read more

On social media, veryone’s sharing, no one is taking responsibility

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Political correctness is not for liberals only.

That immortal truth returned to center stage Wednesday as Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai testified before the Senate Commerce Committee.

The conflict between the world views of Big Tech and Congress was well illustrated by a vigorous exchange ...Read more

How 'defund the police' sabotaged Democrats on Election Day

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Democrats won the White House, whether President Donald Trump wants to face that non-alternative fact or not.

But, as the celebratory confetti and honking car horns settled down, new disputes broke out in the famously factional party over how and why they lost just about everywhere else.

They expected to flip the Senate back from Republican ...Read more

This time Trump’s abuse of public trust is wounding democracy

From the Left / Clarence Page /

How delusional can we Americans be? Hardly anything brings out the loony like a heated election, especially when our nation’s tweeter-in-chief stokes the fires with misinformation from the White House.

As President Donald Trump tweets unsupported claims of widespread “voter fraud” to justify his stubborn rebuffs of presumptive President-...Read more

Another autopsy? Time for both parties to examine themselves

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Call me skeptical, but something doesn’t make sense about President Donald Trump’s refusal to concede the election to Joe Biden by citing unsupported charges of vote fraud.

For one thing, he’d have a stronger case if he didn’t have a long record of raising allegations without evidence, beginning with his doubts about former President ...Read more

Yes, Donald Trump has Black and Latino supporters. Democrats can learn from it

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Could this be the election that ends the “Latino vote”?

No, I’m not talking about actual voters. I’m talking about the way many of us routinely talk or write about the “Latino vote” or “Hispanic vote” in the same way that we news and opinion workers typically talk about the "Black vote.”

The confusion comes in when we invest ...Read more

President Trump may be most memorable for his lies

From the Left / Clarence Page /

For those who occasionally have dared me to say something nice about President Donald Trump, here you go: His first — and, I pray, only — term in office has taught me a lot.

The lessons began with Sean Spicer’s blistering insistence as the new president’s press secretary that the inauguration had brought out “the largest audience ever...Read more

Don’t let politics come between friends

From the Left / Clarence Page /

As an old feminist movement slogan goes, “the personal is political.” Unfortunately, in today’s polarized atmosphere you may not know politics are getting too personal until it’s too late.

A couple of years ago, we saw the Thanksgiving effect. After the 2016 presidential election, according to a study published in Science magazine, the ...Read more

Best president for Black America since Lincoln? C’mon, man!

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Let us now celebrate the calming, sedative qualities of a mute button.

Yes, the mere addition of a mute button in the second and final presidential debate between President Donald Trump and challenger Joe Biden appears to have been all it took to squelch the constant interruptions, mostly from the president, that plagued the first debate.

...Read more

The rise of QAnon isn’t surprising. Americans have long been sucked into conspiracy theories

From the Left / Clarence Page /

I’m no less shocked than anybody else by the rise of the wacky QAnon conspiracy theory-turned-movement in this election year, but I’m not surprised by its viral spread.

After all, I’m a Black American. Therefore, as an uncle of mine counseled me decades ago, “If you’re not paranoid, you’re not paying attention.”

I get it. African...Read more

How hatred became all the rage in our politics

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Are we Americans hating more now but enjoying it less? Let me count the ways:

A self-styled “militia” group is charged by the FBI with an alleged plot to kidnap Michigan’s Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and make her stand “trial” for forcing residents to wear masks during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many Democrats are arguing seriously ...Read more

What the plot to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer tells us about militant extremists

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Sometimes it hurts to be right.

I have received more than a little mockery in my inbox in response to my concerns about right-wing wackos, left-wing loonies and other militants.

Pipe down, I have been advised by some readers, especially when I imply a link between the internet-fueled resurrection of white extremism and President Donald Trump��...Read more

COVID-19 patient Donald Trump’s sunny outlook casts gloomy shadows

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Three days after he quietly slipped away to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for treatment of his COVID-19 infection, President Trump returned home with his sunny side up.

“We’re going back to work. We’re going to be out front,” Mr. Trump said in a video shot immediately after his return and then posted online. “As your ...Read more

Trump’s COVID-19 infection an opportunity for American unity

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Shortly after President Donald Trump tweeted the unsettling news that he and first lady Melania Trump had tested positive for the coronavirus, I received a text from a liberal friend on the West Coast:

“I guess we’ve got our October surprise,” he texted. “Let’s hope that Biden doesn’t get it.”

He was reading my mind, echoing my ...Read more



Drew Sheneman Dave Whamond Steve Benson Mike Shelton Monte Wolverton Pat Bagley