Columns

No cheaper drugs on Trump’s watch

President Trump’s plan for lowering Medicare drug costs is good, even cutting-edge. As Democrats successfully campaign on health care, Trump has come back with a proposal that could save Medicare patients and taxpayers $17.2 billion over five years. Too bad its chances of happening are close ...

Midterm elections all about Trump

WASHINGTON — Whether you love or hate Donald Trump, he has made next week’s’ midterm congressional elections all about him. He has told his faithful flock so in no uncertain terms, saying it’s irrelevant that his name won’t be on the ballot anywhere. Candidates of both major parties ...

Yes, unvetted illegal caravans do threaten public well being

We live in bizarro times. Suddenly, it is controversial to state obvious, neon-bright truths. This week, it has become newsworthy to observe that illegal border-crossers who circumvent required medical screenings are a threat to America’s public health and safety. Just look at these ...

Just in time for Halloween comes a former male stripper, who drove a van with Trump stickers plastered all over it, being charged with sending pipe bombs to top Democratic leaders, a journalist and at least one celebrity, all of whom have been vocal critics of President Trump. The New York Post headline was the cleverest: “Caught Red Hatted: Steroid-abusing Florida stripper driving Trump van is charged with Dem bomb spree.” The Post reported that the accused, Cesar Sayoc Jr., was said to be lost and a “sick individual” who is estranged from his family, but eventually “found a father” in President Trump. He also hates his mother, according to Ronald Lowy, his Miami attorney. Well, yes, you wouldn’t expect a stable individual who loves his mother to do what Sayoc is accused of doing. Predictably, many of those who were targets of Sayoc’s pipe bombs, some of which were incapable of exploding, are blaming President Trump for inciting people like Sayoc to go beyond verbal attacks and engage in dangerous, unlawful behavior. Some on the right point to language used by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), former Attorney General Eric Holder, former President Barack Obama and others (the New York Times published a review of a novel, the plot of which revolves around the assassination of President Trump with the aid of a rogue Secret Service agent). Those conservatives claim that left-wing rhetoric is mostly responsible for widening the political divide and polluting civil debate. How about each side taking responsibility for its own language and behavior? People attending Trump rallies dislike big media, but their rants haven’t changed what conservatives believe is biased reporting. Why don’t some in the Trump crowd invite a reporter to lunch and calmly explain their feelings and political points of view? On the left, why don’t some of those people confronting Republicans out for a quiet dinner with family and friends respectfully ask for an appointment to explain why they oppose Republican and conservative ideas and offer their own proposals for making America better? Whose mind is changed when their dinner is interrupted by people accusing them of treason? As a conservative, I understand the anger felt by many on my side about the way our political positions, faith and worldview are portrayed by the media and wider culture, but behaving as conservatives sometimes do only reinforces long-held stereotypes in the minds of secular progressives who think of us as uneducated Bible-thumpers, intolerant, judgmental and a “basket of deplorables.” While many in mainstream media deplore everything for which the right stands, I think they secretly enjoy the conflict because it boosts ratings and sells newspapers. Conflict always attracts a larger audience than comity, but that is no excuse for contributing to the conflict. Our anger at government and politicians solves nothing. The country is divided. It has always been that way. The focus should be not on winning a war of words, which is impossible so long as the name-calling continues; the focus should be on winning the battle of ideas and what works best in promoting the welfare of most Americans. If that sounds naive in our polarized environment, what would you suggest? Clearly, what we are engaged in now isn’t working. As the late Glen Campbell sang, “Try a little kindness.” It’s better than sending bombs through the mail. It’s also better than behaving rudely in restaurants. Editor’s note: Readers may email Cal Thomas at tcaeditors@tribpub.com.

Just in time for Halloween comes a former male stripper, who drove a van with Trump stickers plastered all over it, being charged with sending pipe bombs to top Democratic leaders, a journalist and at least one celebrity, all of whom have been vocal critics of President Trump. The New York ...

Without doubt, the press has much to answer for

Our states are anything but united. Our politics are indeed polarized — with too many of us Americans retreating into our own comfortable spaces, where we can associate only with those who agree with us. And yes, we of the press are anything but blameless for this situation. Take the simple ...

Dystopian election set for Nov. 6

Having just returned from a three-week trip to Asia, I feel as if I’ve landed in the middle of a dystopian nightmare. Some maniac is mailing pipe bombs to President Donald Trump’s enemies list: Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, George Soros, John Brennan, Eric Holder and Robert De ...

Stacey Abrams gives Dems peek at 2020

GRIFFIN, Ga. — “Life happens,” Stacey Abrams instructs a small but boisterous crowd in a sun-drenched park south of Atlanta. She says: Your car breaks down. Your child gets sick. Could happen on election day. So, vote early. Today. In her campaign to be the first Democrat elected ...

Again, circumstances have us fighting for vote

Coretta Scott King saw this coming. “Struggle is a never-ending process,” she wrote a year after her husband, Martin, was killed. “Freedom is never really won. You earn it and win it in every generation.” The fight is upon us, again. First stop: Dodge City, Kansas. Two weeks ...

Hyperventilating about the caravan unhelpful

A caravan of ragtag would-be immigrants is making its way through the nations of Honduras (per capita income $4,630), El Salvador (per capita income $7,540), and Guatemala (per capita income $8,000) to Mexico. The response in the U.S. (per capita income $60,200) — panic. Hyperventilation ...

Another opinion

Wilson donation shows philanthropy's promise The Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation's $100 million donation to the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy and its connecting pathways is an example of the vital role philanthropy is playing in the city's rebuilding. Foundations are the strong third leg ...

Now it’s real explosive devices

What Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, former Attorney General Eric Holder, CNN and George Soros have in common is that each looms large in the right wing’s pantheon of liberal demons. And each has been sent a pipe bomb. So much for Donald Trump’s fantasies of left-wing mobs fomenting ...

October birding has been exceptional

“Just when I thought it was over, the second act began, Boy, I wish I had gotten a program.” — Anonymous Autumn has turned into a month of all kinds of surprises. While the wet season has been gloomy at times, the fall colors have been spectacular across the Upper Peninsula. October is ...

Trump stokes fear of Latin American caravan heading toward US border

WASHINGTON — In President Trump’s effort to generate a winning Republican voter turnout in the November congressional midterm elections, he has resorted to another barrage of lies and misrepresentations about the huge caravan of Central Americans hiking through Mexico to seek asylum in the ...

2018 midterms all about Obama

Former President Selfie Stick is back in action, firing up Democrats before the midterms with his signature rallying cries: I, I, I, I! Me, me, me! My, my, my! According to a tally by The American Mirror’s Kyle Olson, Barack Obama’s campaign speech Monday for Nevada Senate Democratic ...

Good plan for debt relief

As difficult as it may be to believe, there was a time when Republicans were known as the anti-debt and balanced budget party. Now, the GOP prefers to tout low unemployment as the debt soars and they are co-conspirators in its rise. It’s not that Republicans (and once-fiscally responsible ...

What Gerald Ford could teach Beto O’Rourke in 2018

When people learn that I have spent the past 50 years either working in or covering the past 13 presidential campaigns, I’m often asked my opinion of what was the best-run national campaign. My answer — the losing 1976 Republican presidential campaign of President Gerald Ford — ...

Friend who wasn’t is feeling used

Dear Annie: I’m 64. I have known “Ashley” for seven years. She is a mother of two young boys, ages 7 and 5. In her early mommy years, she needed a lot of help. She would call me in the early mornings and ask whether I could care for the kids so she could go to work. I would make the long ...

Trump mishandles Saudi murder

Jamal Khashoggi’s murder — and no one now questions whether the Washington Post contributor was killed by Saudi agents in the kingdom’s consulate in Turkey — has far-reaching implications for the Trump administration. President Donald Trump appears to want to help sweep the incident ...

Arizona voters can save their judiciary

George Will WASHINGTON — This year’s election that most implicates fundamental issues of American governance will not fill a legislative or executive office. And its importance is not primarily that it will either repudiate or reward dishonesty and cynicism in the service of factional ...

Corrections officers risk much on daily basis

Doug Gilbertson For Earl DeMarse, Sept. 25, 1973, was a day like any other. He got up and prepared for his day, same as he had done for the last 26 years. Earl was a corrections officer at the Marquette Branch Prison and, being a World War II vet, was no stranger to wearing a uniform. A ...