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Politics

Converts are the missing group of voters in 2020

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Political polls elicit predictable reactions from the candidates being polled. The campaign of the candidate trailing in the poll almost invariably invokes history: "I, for one, am grateful that Christopher Columbus didn't take a poll before he bravely sailed off in search of a New World. He never would have left the dock" or, "Thank goodness ...Read more

Honoring the fallen

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Capping a week of deserved tributes, the funeral for Rep. John Lewis in Atlanta's historic Ebenezer Baptist Church brought me back a quarter-century to another funeral for another revered member of Congress, former House Speaker Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill.

On a cold January day at St. John the Evangelist Church in North Cambridge -- where O'Neill ...Read more

Voters have decided on Trump

From the Left / Mark Shields /

By now, Republican officeholders are daily and in ever-increasing numbers coming up with reasons why they will be unable to attend the late-August GOP convention in Jacksonville, Florida. In every campaign year, everything is a poll -- who shows up and who doesn't when your candidate comes to town; who elbows in for the picture with the standard...Read more

The buck doesn't stop here

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Dan Buck is a philosopher friend of mine with a rare gift for explaining the political world. Back when Ronald Reagan was an enormously popular president (carrying 93 out of a possible 100 states in two national campaigns), I marveled at how voters were so unfailingly tolerant, even forgiving, when the Gipper said things that were factually ...Read more

It's time we had a "we" president, not a "me" president

From the Left / Mark Shields /

New York Times/Siena College has Democrat Joe Biden at 50% and Republican President Donald Trump at 36%; CNN has Biden at 54% and Trump 36%; Fox News has Biden at 50% and Trump at 38%. These recent national polls have left Democrats almost giddy with anticipation. But before Democrats put the champagne on ice, they would be wise to remember the ...Read more

This is a campaign year of less wisdom and less wit

From the Left / Mark Shields /

In the nine presidential elections between the 1952 victory of Dwight D. Eisenhower and George H.W. Bush's 1988 win, just two Republicans won the White House: Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan. One man was indispensable to the winning campaigns of these two very different Republicans. His name was John P. Sears, and as a young 25 year-old lawyer, ...Read more

Are Democrats smart enough to take yes for an answer?

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Here's the fail-safe test for whether a political party is growing and strengthening or shrinking in size and prospects: Is that party spending its time, energy and effort seeking, recruiting and welcoming converts to its ranks, or is that party instead hunting down heretics within its ranks and, in the name of political purity, banishing them ...Read more

What leadership means

From the Left / Mark Shields /

History can be cruel. The assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., who was unquestionably America's most prominent prophet and practitioner of nonviolence, was followed by riots, arson and looting in 168 American cities and towns. The numbers are staggering: 2,600 fires were set; 21,700 people were injured; 2,600 were arrested; 39 were killed. ...Read more

Choosing the wrong opponent

From the Left / Mark Shields /

It is a common, if not especially honorable, practice in American politics for a candidate and her campaign to prefer to run not against their actual opponent on the ballot but rather against the most unpopular caricature of the opponent's party. That explains why Democrats, for close to three decades after the election of 1932, when Franklin ...Read more

 

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Tom Stiglich Signe Wilkinson Ken Catalino Gary Markstein Joel Pett Dan Wasserman