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 peop…
Twitter makes a lot of people stupid and angry, so it’s fitting that the current debate about Twitter should be so full of stupidity and anger.
A lifelong bird-watcher ventured into a section of New York’s Central Park, the “Ramble,” at 7:30 a.m., hoping to catch a glimpse of waterfowl. In previous days, he had spied scarlet tanagers, ovenbirds and mourning warblers. On Memorial Day, as he waited quietly, an unleashed spaniel scurri…
This has become too rare, I suddenly realized — this unscheduled gift of a moment.
WASHINGTON — It is rarely a good idea to make campaign promises that put you in a box or could go very wrong, as nearly every president can attest.
We have a choice!
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 thr…
In a sense, it’s pointless to debate whether the United States should have a more hawkish policy toward China, because we’ll have one regardless of how the 2020 elections go. There’s a broad consensus among both of the political parties and foreign policy experts across the ideological spect…
In 2012, Annie Glenn and I were doing what we so often did, which was to sit side-by-side in a quiet place offstage, waiting for our extroverted husbands to finish speaking to a crowd.
Among dozens of addled tweets from the commander in chief over the past few days, one in particular deserves pausing over because it demonstrates not just the weak-mindedness of our president but also the way his leadership is sabotaging conservatism.
WASHINGTON — Donald Trump has a way of making easy things difficult and difficult matters impossible. That is a good way to explain what is going on behind the scenes right now at the Voice of America, or VOA.
The government has closed most schools.
Editor’s note: Mark Shields is off this week.
Here’s a thought experiment for you. Would you rather have a Princeton education or do without the education but get the Princeton diploma?
My annual order of wildflower seeds arrived in the mail, and I’ve never been so eager to start something new — something beautiful and immune to the virus taking so much away.
Joe Biden has not been loudly beating up on President Donald Trump for his pathetic performance during the coronavirus crisis. The pandemic has already killed over 80,000 Americans and cratered the economy. And the United States has become an object of international pity.
WASHINGTON — Just as Romantics eventually learn that no amount of passion or staging can fully recapture love’s first blushes, political movements often suffer the ennui and self-parody of attempted recreations.
Last Sunday, Mother’s Day, made me think how my mom warned me, as a young teen: “Work hard! Or you’ll freeze in the dark!”
An American politician can help herself politically by being able to believably use self-deprecating humor, which sends a clear message: “I am not pompously self-important or thin-skinned; I do not take myself completely seriously.”
The future is particularly murky these days. It’s anybody’s guess how the pandemic, the presidential election and the economy are going to play out. Just about the only thing that’s assured is that U.S. relations with China will never be the same.
A week after Donald Trump was elected president, writer and scholar Sarah Kendzior, who had predicted in 2015 that he would win, wrote a public letter to the American public.
No surprise that Americans have spent much of their lockdown watching TV — nor that one of the most-watched shows has been “The Golden Girls.” First aired in 1985, the sitcom portrays four older women, three widows and one divorcee, sharing a house in Miami.
We need new drugs to fight COVID-19 and other diseases. But our government’s approval process makes that too hard.
As you probably already knew, the next six months of 2020 presidential campaigning are going to be ugly. I do not say this happily, but I do so based upon a lifetime of watching candidates run for election and reelection. Almost invariably, politicians return to what worked successfully in p…
During the filming of the 1939 movie “Jesse James,” a stuntman and his horse went over a cliff and fell 70 feet into a river. The stuntman was fine; the horse died. This incident is what gave rise to that line at the end of many movies: “No animals were harmed in the making of this film.” Th…
As many news organizations have noted, in just three months the American death toll from the coronavirus has exceeded the number of Americans who were killed in the Vietnam War.
The coronavirus has rearranged American life. Mask wearing and social distancing is still required in the stores, gyms and restaurants now open, or set to be, across the nation.
I’m “social distancing.” I stay away from people.
There was, I can testify, a lot more drinking in Washington, D.C., before May 15, 1978. That was the date, through the grace of God, that I had my last drink of beer or booze or wine.
Liberals never let a crisis go to waste, and sadly for America’s landlords and real estate developers, the current pandemic is no exception.
“Where were you when ...?”
At the beginning of each semester at Kent State, where I teach in the journalism school, I make a point of opening my arms wide and saying to students, “Welcome to your adulthood.”
The media tell us China “beat coronavirus.”
There will be no graduation festivities this spring at dozens of American colleges and universities, including Ohio State, Brigham Young, Howard, Swarthmore, Notre Dame, Duke, UCLA and Yale. That means this year's graduates and their closest relatives and friends will not have the benefit of…
There is no Trumpism, only Trump.
This morning, the first email that caught my eye had this in its subject line: World Class Hater.
Who among us, knowing what we know now about COVID-19, doesn’t wish we could roll back the clock to Jan. 1, 2020 and make very different decisions about testing, contact tracing, PPE and social distancing?
President Donald Trump slammed the World Health Organization at a news briefing and was immediately accused of scapegoating.
A friend closed in his northern Italian apartment for almost six weeks emailed me saying that his wife says he looks like a “clochard.” That’s French for street bum. This from a man who once was a walking advertisement for fine Italian tailoring.
WASHINGTON — It often seems like a double tragedy that the COVID-19 pandemic arrived during a presidential election year, casting every decision from the Trump White House in a potentially political light rather than in the certainty that each one is laser-focused on what is prudent.
As millions of jobless Americans line up for food or risk their lives delivering essential services, the nation’s billionaires are making conspicuous donations — $100 million from Amazon’s Jeff Bezos for food banks, billions from Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates for a coronavirus vaccine, tho…
Two weeks ago, President Donald Trump signed the largest stimulus bill in U.S. history: more than $2 trillion.
Somebody close to President Donald Trump could, in a burst of candor, tell him that he does not know everything to be known about the history of the filibuster in the United States Senate -- or even the origin of the infield fly rule in Major League Baseball.
There’s an intense, often ugly debate over the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In broad brushstrokes, some contend that the lower-than-predicted death toll proves the models forecasting massive fatalities were needlessly sensational. Some even suggest they were deliberately so, to scare p…
In the last month, I’ve left our home in my car exactly once, to go to the drive-thru window of our local pharmacy for a necessary prescription.
A country learns about itself in a crisis, and one revelation in the coronavirus emergency is that we can’t make our own penicillin.
U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams warned that this week of mounting death from the novel coronavirus could be “our Pearl Harbor moment.” He was referring, of course, to the surprise 1941 Japanese attack on the U.S. Navy base in Honolulu, which pulled the nation into World War II.
Many Democrats and much of the media claim that President Donald Trump has mishandled and continues to mishandle the response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Congress passed and the president signed a $2 trillion “stimulus” bill.
Democrats are beside themselves; after President Donald Trump’s consistently inconsistent and uneven public pronouncements on the seriousness of the coronavirus, moving in one 24-hour period from “something we have tremendous control over” to our “toughest enemy: the invisible enemy” and lim…