From the Left



An old question comes back: What if President Trump loses but won’t leave?

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Pardon me if I repeat myself but, sometimes, I repeat myself.

I realized that as I was web surfing for a possible column on what would happen if President Donald Trump loses reelection in November but doesn’t want to leave.

A search quickly showed me that, in a way, I already wrote that column early last year. Call this Part Two.

That ...Read more

‘Notorious RBG’ will be remembered for victories yet to come

From the Left / Clarence Page /

I hear that Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s law clerks had to explain to her that her increasingly popular nickname, “Notorious RBG,” was a compliment.

I wish I could have been a fly on the wall as they explained the nickname’s origin in The Notorious B.I.G., the late “gangsta rap” superstar born Christopher George Latore Wallace, aka Biggie ...Read more

The pandemic persists, despite Trump’s sidestepping

From the Left / Clarence Page /

With less than two months to go until Election Day, the presidential contest increasingly reminds me of a 1950s game show; “Who Do You Trust?”

Or, as I feel compelled to add in a salute to my finicky-yet-beloved English teachers, “Whom Do You Trust?”

Nowadays we could recast the show with our current contestants, Republican President ...Read more

Why I wince when I hear the words ‘white privilege’

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Asking President Donald Trump how he feels about “white privilege” is sort of like asking a young fish how it feels about water.

As the late author David Foster Wallace tells the fable in an unusually famous commencement address, the young fish doesn’t know what water is. He’s way too close to the subject.

That’s how President Trump ...Read more

Note to Mayor Lightfoot and Team Trump: Politics should help, not hurt law enforcement

From the Left / Clarence Page /

As marriages of convenience go, Chicago’s crime-fighting partnership with the Trump administration looks awkward at best, strikingly in need of a pastor or perhaps a referee.

Attorney General William Barr was in town Wednesday to update the city on “Operation Legend,” a Department of Justice effort to help curb a horrendous surge in ...Read more

If Trump’s military support slips too much, he’ll be the ‘loser’

From the Left / Clarence Page /

In response to credible reports that President Donald Trump has derided fallen U.S. soldiers as “losers” and “suckers,” the least I could do in protest was to change my Twitter photo.

And so I did. Gone is my currently aging face, replaced by the much younger me, dressed up in my Class A U.S. Army uniform for graduation from basic ...Read more

In matters of mental health, do we ask police to do too much?

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Shocking video of a Black Chicago man naked, handcuffed and losing consciousness at the hands of white police officers in Rochester, New York, triggers justifiable outrage and questions, including one that can be painfully difficult to address:

Are we asking our police officers to do too much?

We are certain to hear the question come up in the...Read more

Joe Biden’s familiar straight talk faces Donald Trump’s doublespeak

From the Left / Clarence Page /

He’s alive!

After watching his widely praised speech at the socially distanced Democratic National Convention, I wondered when Joe Biden would come out of his basement again, even if it was only to give a little balance to the whoppers pouring out of the White House.

If the political rise of President Donald Trump has taught us anything, it ...Read more

Trump describes an America so scary, I wonder who’s president

From the Left / Clarence Page /

For the longest time, President Donald Trump seemed all but unable to figure out who he was running against. But the renewed urban unrest, with fatalities in Kenosha following yet another police shooting of an unarmed Black man, appears to have clarified his thinking.

First he tried, in his usual name-calling style, to rebrand his Democratic ...Read more

Missing from both party conventions: Making jobs great again

From the Left / Clarence Page /

A week after the Democrats convened under a platform that could best be summarized as “We’re not Donald Trump’s party,” Republicans approved a platform that essentially said, “We’re all-Trump, all the time.”

And that describes the opening night of their convention, along with its side theme: Whatever frightens Grandma.

Citing a ...Read more

Kamala Harris defies the soft bigotry of racial expectations

From the Left / Clarence Page /

All of the chatter surrounding the historic rise of Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris sounds like an unfortunate trip through a Wayback Machine.

The “What is she?” questions about Harris, daughter of a mother from India and a father from Jamaica, sound eerily and perhaps inevitably similar to the questions that popped up in...Read more

The DNC’s TV party: More democratic, less conventional

From the Left / Clarence Page /

If necessity is the mother of invention, as the old saying goes, Democrats turned the necessity of convening a presidential nomination during a pandemic into the mother of socially distanced party conventions.

Instead of trying to produce the world’s biggest — and clunkiest — Zoom call, as many observers feared, Democrats dropped all ...Read more

With Kamala Harris in the race, is Donald Trump bringing birtherism back?

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Oh, no, he didn’t.

But, oh, yes, he … did!

President Donald Trump, who took the lead of a bonkers “birther” conspiracy movement against former President Barack Obama, wasted little time before greeting Democratic front-runner Joe Biden’s newly announced running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris, with a new version of the same bogus...Read more

Protesters? Sorry, they look like thieves to me

From the Left / Clarence Page /

As shopkeepers and volunteers were sweeping up Monday after an overnight looting rampage through downtown Chicago’s ritziest addresses, I already was hearing from taunting emailers like this passive-aggressive troll:

“Can’t wait to see how you spin the blame for this on Trump, the police or white privilege,” wrote a gentleman from ...Read more

President Trump hates mail-in voting, until he doesn’t

From the Left / Clarence Page /

OK, let’s try to get this straight. President Donald Trump doesn’t trust mail-in voting — until he does.

For example, he denounced the very idea of voting by mail as an invitation to commit voter fraud, a bipartisan suspicion, and a problem which he tends to pin solely on Democrats. That’s politics.

But the president changed that tune ...Read more

Police suicides raise questions about a hidden pandemic

From the Left / Clarence Page /

A suicide in the upper ranks of Chicago’s Police Department amid a surge in the city’s already high homicide rate highlights a painful reality about this summer: We’re dealing with more than one pandemic.

That realization came to mind after Deputy Chief Dion Boyd, 57, was found shot to death last week at the Homan Square police facility ...Read more

Trump turns panic peddler to nervous NIMBY suburbs

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Having made his name in real estate, it is oddly appropriate that President Donald Trump’s reelection efforts have steered him into a new version of panic peddling.

“Panic peddling” or “blockbusting” describes the now-illegal practice of persuading property owners to sell cheaply out of fear that people of another race, ethnicity or ...Read more

While Donald Trump tries for a 2016 rerun, voters look for a fresh script

From the Left / Clarence Page /

With less than 100 days to go until Election Day, President Donald Trump is campaigning like he did the first time, as a challenger running against the sitting president, who this time happens to be himself.

In speeches, ads and tweets, he attacks crime and urban unrest that presumably would explode in “Joe Biden’s America” — but uses ...Read more

Trump’s focus on Chicago violence could be helpful, but will he stay committed to real assistance?

From the Left / Clarence Page /

President Donald Trump’s decision to combat violent crime in Chicago and other cities, whether invited or not, reminds me of President Ronald Reagan’s line about the “nine most terrifying words” in the English language: “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.”

Indeed. Initial reaction from Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot ...Read more

Want to honor Rep. John Lewis? Repair the Voting Rights Act

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Not all of Washington’s icons are dead. Some are still living and walking among us.

That thought came to mind whenever I ran into Rep. John Lewis on Capitol Hill, or in other newsmaker hot spots.

In a place not known to be overflowing with moral authority, the Georgia Democrat, who died last Friday at age 80, stood out. He was the last ...Read more



Chip Bok Marshall Ramsey John Deering Al Goodwyn Lisa Benson John Branch