Opinion: Columnists

May. 31, 2015 @ 03:31 PM

A summer break from campus muzzling

Commencement season brings a respite from the sinister childishness rampant on campuses. Attacks on freedom of speech come from the professoriate, that herd of independent minds, and from the ever-thickening layer of university administrators who keep busy constricting freedom in order to fine-tune campus atmospherics.


May. 31, 2015 @ 01:34 PM

Starting lines differ widely in the game of life

I sometimes tease my son, Andrew, that he chose his parents wisely.

Children don’t choose their parents, of course, or the settings – socioeconomic, cultural, geographic – into which they are born and in which they grow up. Those factors can make enormous differences in the life they can expect.


May. 29, 2015 @ 04:58 AM

The disintegration of us-vs.-them politics

For all the decades of its existence, American social conservatism has been rooted in a premise simple enough to be fully expressed in just three words:

Us versus them.


May. 28, 2015 @ 11:26 PM

The propriety of separation of campaign and state

A simple apology would suffice. Instead, campaign finance reformers, horrified by the predictable results of their handiwork, aspire to yet more regulatory wrinkles to limit political speech. These, too, would have consequences unintended and undesired by reformers, "requiring" a new round of reforms. But the Constitution, properly construed, requires a wall of separation between campaign and state.


May. 26, 2015 @ 10:47 AM

Historian Leuchtenburg rates Obama

“How will historians rate Barack Obama’s presidency?”

Following up my conversation last week with historian William Leuchtenburg about the challenges Hillary Clinton faces in her campaign, I wanted him to begin to put Obama in historical perspective, a challenging task for anyone, but maybe not unfair to someone whose latest book, “The American President: From Teddy Roosevelt to Bill Clinton,” will be out in early December.


May. 24, 2015 @ 12:07 AM

Kaine's quest for war legitimacy

The Revolutionary War and Civil War ended in Virginia, which was involved, by the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon, in the beginning of today's war with radical Islam. Now a Virginia senator is determined that today's war shall not continue indefinitely without the legitimacy conferred by congressional involvement congruent with the Constitution's text and history.


May. 21, 2015 @ 12:05 AM

Police brutality can't be fixed by African-American self-improvement

Maybe some people didn't understand the question.

It was posed in this space a few weeks ago by Tracy, a self-described 55-year-old white woman from Texas who is sick and tired of the mounting litany of police violence against unarmed African-American boys and men. She wanted to know what actions she, as an average person, might take to help bring about change. "What can I do?" she ask


May. 20, 2015 @ 08:15 PM

The withering of the death penalty

Without a definitive judicial ruling or other galvanizing event, a perennial American argument is ending. Capital punishment is withering away.


May. 19, 2015 @ 11:31 PM

For both parties, it’s the same old song

Don’t you find it interesting the ways ideologues and politicians respond to news happenings? Interesting, but disappointing. We keep hearing the same old song repeated over and over.


May. 19, 2015 @ 10:48 AM

Historian Leuchtenburg on Hillary Clinton’s challenges

Is it too early to start putting the 2016 presidential election in historical perspective?

Maybe.

But it is never too early to ask presidential historian and UNC-Chapel Hill emeritus history professor William Leuchtenburg to size up today’s presidential politics in light of the experiences of other presidents and presidential candidates.


May. 18, 2015 @ 12:59 PM

Luis Lang discovers GoFundMe's much worse than Obamacare

Luis Lang would like you to send him some money.

He has taken to GoFundMe (gofundme.com/s78e9w), the crowd-funding website, trying to raise $30,000. Lang, who is 49 and lives in Fort Mill, South Carolina, is slowly losing his eyesight to diabetes. Without surgery, he'll go blind. Those grim facts notwithstanding, some may not find Lang the most sympathetic candidate for charity.


May. 18, 2015 @ 08:53 AM

Savoring contrasting vibes downtown, and wondering

Last weekend, shopping and strolling through the Durham Farmers’ Market as my family does most Saturdays, it was clear that we’re heading into the bounteous season. Product and purchasers are becoming more plentiful, and I was reminded once again of how the market and its surroundings have transformed in the past decade.


May. 16, 2015 @ 03:58 PM

Santorum: The return of the GOP's runner-up

A near miss can be a sharp spur, so Rick Santorum wants to say something to those who profess condescending puzzlement about his persistence in pursuing the Republican presidential nomination: You probably have no idea how close I came to defeating Mitt Romney in 2012.


May. 16, 2015 @ 12:48 AM

Thank a teacher, not just one week a year

Everyone can remember one or more teachers who had a significant impact on their life. During Teacher Appreciation Week we recognized and were grateful to them, but thanking our teachers is more than just raising their pay, as many repeatedly suggest. 


May. 14, 2015 @ 09:50 AM

How McCrory gets judged

Pat McCrory will likely run for reelection next year as governor of North Carolina against longtime Attorney General Roy Cooper. Both men are capable candidates who will run skillful, well-funded campaigns. Given the larger political context, I see the contest as unpredictable at the moment. But there are a couple of things we can say with confidence about it.