From the Left



If Hillary Clinton Were a Man

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

What if Hillary Clinton were a man? What if she were a 68-year-old man rather than a 68-year-old woman? Would we think differently of her? Her raised voice would be lower. She would be better at physically commanding the stage. Her indomitability might be seen as manly. If she were taller and bigger, might she have been able to get away with ...Read more

Pining for Obama

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Calvin Trillin, the Mark Twain of our times, once wrote that sooner or later in a new administration, he starts to miss the preceding one. I know precisely how he feels. I already miss the Obama administration.

I am not being precipitous. The next president of the United States is going to be Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. Neither one has ...Read more

Clinton Survives Another Salem Trial

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Just as there was never any doubt that Bill Clinton had sex with "that woman," there was never any doubt that Hillary Clinton mishandled her emails. And just as there was never any doubt that the Republicans overreacted to Bill Clinton's shenanigans, so too is there no doubt that they have done the same over Hillary's server. Something about the...Read more

Butterfly Wings That Didn't Flutter

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

What shall we call the butterfly?

The butterfly I have in mind is the one that illustrates chaos theory: It flutters its diaphanous wings, stirring the slightest breeze, which connects with others until, thousands of miles away, it forms the essential ingredient for a hurricane. Can we call this butterfly Brexit?

I mean, why not? It qualifies....Read more

Trump Ain't Got No Class

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

For the Trump kids, it may be time for another meeting with dad. A previous one resulted in the canning of Corey Lewandowski and his exiling to CNN. Since then, the plight of the Trump campaign has become even more dire: Donald Trump has fallen in the polls and he made a perfect fool of himself in Scotland, possibly a personal best. Now, though,...Read more

A Contrast in Heroes

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

My heroes are not necessarily people of great ability but ones who did what I think I could not. Two contemporary men fall into that category. The first is the late Muhammad Ali, maybe the greatest fighter of all time, and the second is John McCain. Now, from the grave, Ali reprimands McCain.

Both Ali and McCain chose to make sacrifices on ...Read more

The Absurd Availability of Assault Weapons

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

A man walks into a nightclub with an AR-15. It is similar to the weapon I was trained on in the Army. It was designed for combat, to kill as many of the enemy as possible in the shortest amount of time. I was pretty good with it, even earned a marksmanship badge, but when the training was over and we returned to the barracks, our weapons were ...Read more

Trump Has Taught Me to Fear My Fellow Americans

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

What word comes to mind when you see the name Donald Trump? For some people, it might be "anger," since he provokes it and stokes it. For others, it might be "ignorance," since he knows so little and, like many unburdened by knowledge, is untroubled by facts. Some might say "fear," since it would take some scary police tactics to push 11 million...Read more

Bathroom Bigotry, Then and Now

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

She was Japanese, a temp sent over by some naive agency to fill a spot in the files department. Back then, before computers, an enormous room was devoted to files. This was at an insurance company where I worked. It was located in the Empire State Building, ninth floor. The company had only a corner of the floor; the rest was taken up by another...Read more

Can Priebus Kick His awful Trump Habit?

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

I don't know Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican Party (such as it is). He may be a very nice guy, what with a wife and kids and probably a car or two. Still, after watching him on the Sunday interview shows, I have concluded that the man has no pride, no shame and, almost certainly, no future. After Donald Trump loses the presidency,...Read more

In the White House, a Dangerous Pride

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

I've read a fair amount of books on foreign policy in recent years, yet the one that's always made the greatest impression on me was assigned to our class in the sixth grade. It was Esther Forbes' novel "Johnny Tremain," and the lesson I took from it was the very one Johnny himself had to learn the hard way: "Pride goeth before a fall." Maybe ...Read more

The Sound of Contempt

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

If Donald Trump looked at a demographic profile of his supporters, he would emit a dismissive sneer. They are disproportionally out of work or not seeking it. If they do have a job, they're probably working with their hands, maybe something a machine will do better or someone overseas will do cheaper. A large share have only a high school ...Read more

'Ask Richard' Answers Your Bathroom Queries

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Richard, I am planning to drive from Massachusetts to Florida and, while I hope it will not happen, I might have to stop in North Carolina to use a restroom. Do I need to bring a birth certificate?

The "Ask Richard" column, now the most popular on the Internet, has gotten many such questions recently and "Ask Richard" has chosen this one...Read more

The GOP Would Unify Around Trump At Its Peril

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

NEW YORK -- The other day I spied a high Republican official walking on the street and called out his name. He stopped, hit his smile app and exclaimed how glad he was to see me. "What are you going to do about Trump?" I asked. He paused and then uttered the dreaded word: unity. "We have to have unity," he said. I got his message. He's selling ...Read more

The Questions I Never Asked

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

I am reading a book about death. It is Katie Roiphe's "The Violet Hour" and it is about how some people, all of them famous, faced death or thought about it. I turned to the book because one of Roiphe's subjects is the writer James Salter, who was in good health when she interviewed him but who died last year at the age of 90, quickly and ...Read more

Obama's Hubris is On the Loose

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Donald Trump, sure to be a mystery to future historians, is heading for his preordained crackup, tripping over a tongue bigger even than his hands. To some, his performance has been appalling, not to mention frightening. To others, though, it has been downright fortunate. Among other things, Trump has averted our eyes from Barack Obama.

It was ...Read more

Unlock the Phone

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

A week ago, I spent a good deal of time on the phone with a woman in Manila. Her name is Carolina and she works for Microsoft, which insists on compelling me to "upgrade" to Windows 10. I tried, and for some reason it did not work. My computer froze and so I had Microsoft walk it back to Windows 7, whereupon, a bit later, Microsoft struck in the...Read more


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