From the Left



The Vietnam War 2017

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Three aging U.S. veterans of the war in Vietnam, each of whom still bears the scars of battle, took their seats on the stage of Washington's Kennedy Center on a cool September evening. They were there to discuss Ken Burns' historic 18-hour PBS project, "The Vietnam War," which will deservedly earn the nation's attention. The three -- John ...Read more

Happy New Year

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Labor Day has already come, and summer is all but over. Autumn -- with shorter days, cooler nights and a new school year -- is upon us. Now -- in beautiful September and not in the dead of winter, overshadowed by Christmas -- ought logically to be New Year's Day, which means resolutions and predictions.

I personally resolve to break my bad ...Read more

Reprimand to Trump from Pittsburgh Voters: 'It's Not About You'

From the Left / Mark Shields /

On a late summer night, some 230 days into the Trump presidency, a dozen Pennsylvania voters gathered around a conference table in Pittsburgh and were asked by respected Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart to just give "a word or a feeling about Donald Trump."

The answers from this group -- five of whom had voted for Trump in November -- ought ...Read more

Needing an 'Enemy'

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Eric Hoffer, a San Francisco longshoreman and philosopher who died in 1983, the year President Ronald Reagan awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, could have been analyzing contemporary American politics when he wrote, some 66 years ago, that "mass movements can rise and spread without belief in a God, but never without belief in a ...Read more

The president is also a moral leader

From the Left / Mark Shields /

It was obviously an earlier, less cynical time when the president of the United States could explain an unscheduled drive from the White House he had once taken. "I was outraged," the president wrote when he was out of office, "when I read in the newspapers about a black family. ... The husband and wife were both employed in a government ...Read more

Authentic Republican Wisdom

From the Left / Mark Shields /

American campaigns were not always, I can testify from personal witness, about the politics of personal destruction. Your political adversary was your opponent, not your enemy. Just 10 years ago, at the funeral of a former Republican president, the eulogy, at the personal request of the deceased, was given by the Democratic president who had ...Read more

Missing case for Republican health care

From the Left / Mark Shields /

At 2 o'clock on a Friday morning in July -- after having successfully run in three national elections on their party's repeated promises to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which Barack Obama had spent the first two years of his own presidency (and a lot of political popularity) getting passed -- the case of those in the Senate majority ...Read more

McCain the Patriot

From the Left / Mark Shields /

In this unheroic era when prominent American males prove their abiding patriotism by prominently displaying an American flag pin in the lapel of their suit jacket, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., remains seriously out of step.

McCain has never been a flag waver. With the steady devotion of a lifetime of service, McCain has instead chosen to defend...Read more

Unanswered Questions of 2017

From the Left / Mark Shields /

In the nervous Washington summer of 2017, with Republicans reeling from embarrassing disclosure after embarrassing disclosure, opposition Democrats, even before President Trump recently announced in Paris: "France is America's first and oldest ally. A lot of people don't know that," have already been following the strategy first recommended by...Read more

Not the most dependable of friends

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Dean Heller is a 57-year-old Mormon, husband and father of four who -- because he is a U.S. senator from Nevada (having won in 2012 by a paper-thin 46-45 percent margin), a state that Barack Obama carried twice, and because he is the only GOP senator running in 2018 in a state that Hillary Clinton carried -- is commonly referred to as the most ...Read more

Character beyond measure

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Americans have reason to trust in progress. By so many different yardsticks, we can gauge improvement just over the past half-century. We are indisputably more tolerant and accepting than we were in the 1960s. The percentage of American women with a college degree is five times greater today than it was in 1964. Back then, millions of black ...Read more

Social Connections


Clay Bennett Chip Bok Ken Catalino Chris Britt Gary Markstein Steve Benson