The inherent flaw of a rush to judgment

His is the face that provoked untold millions of posts on social media, the teenage boy from Kentucky face-to-face with an aging Native American man playing a drum, the two of them surrounded by a group of shouting boys, many of them in those red “Make America Great Again” hats.

We see the boy smiling. Is that a smug smirk, or the smile of a boy who has no idea how to react to what is happening in this moment? What does it “mean,” what does it “say?” The imagery itself is so fraught that it is all but impossible to view the photograph without experiencing waves of emotion, immediate and visceral, but also deeply embedded in a painful and resonant history.

Let’s think rationally about the government shutdown

By Isaac Herrin • Guest Columnist

OK, let’s get the opposing comments out of the way: “Rationally, Trump should open the government and stop being petty,” “The last thing a Trump supporter is allowed to say is we need to be rational,” “If you think this is on the Democrats, you’re just blind.”

The lowdown on the shutdown

There are plenty of misconceptions about the federal government shutdown — what it is, who it affects, how it happens, and why — but what is clear is that both parties have engaged in the tactic for almost 45 years, and as time goes on, shutdowns are becoming longer, and becoming more commonly used as a policy tool. 

Government shutdown is not really about a wall

By Norm Hoffman • Guest Columnist

Now we have yet another federal government shutdown. We have to ask if there ever was a government shutdown that Rep. Mark Meadows did not like or have a possible hand in making happen.

Mueller investigation closing in on Trump

“He (Trump) knows very little about the legislative process, hasn’t learned anything, hasn’t surrounded himself with people that can get it done, hasn’t done all the things you need to do so. It’s mostly his fault that he hasn’t achieved those things. I’m not in charge of Trump.”

— Tucker Carlson, Fox News

“How can you drain the swamp if you keep muddying the waters? Your own words on lots of stuff give me lots of pause. You said Russia didn’t interfere [in the 2016 election] until some Republicans reminded you that they did.”

— Neil Cavuto, Fox News

As the Robert Mueller investigation barrels toward its conclusion and the walls close in on President Donald Trump, his regular splattering of tweets sound more and more like a modern-day version of Richard Nixon’s “I am not a crook” proclamation, but more fanciful and less coherent.

Administration makes mistake with gender plans

The current administration is in the process of trying to erase transgender/cisgender people. If they have their way they will define gender as biologically incontrovertible, determined by genitalia at birth. This definition will exist in title IX, the federal civil rights law that bans gender discrimination in education programs that get government financial assistance. It will also inform section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, which investigates medical discrimination based on sex, in which sex includes gender identity and presentation. It would effectively relieve doctors of any obligation respect gender that may differ from genitalia at birth. 

Time for all to choose dignity over party loyalty

Perhaps you have noticed how popular the “what about” argument has become these days? You know it works: you make a claim. I can’t really debate it, so I change the subject and pretend that whatever I say is a reasonable argument, even though it has nothing to do with the point you are making.

Sessions firing triggers protests

It didn’t take long for protests to spring up across the country, state and region as soon as President Trump fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions. 

Book explores Trump’s election victory

Want to know why Donald Trump won the 2016 election in one of the most stunning upsets in American history?

Some blame Russian meddling. Some blame Hilary Clinton for running a bad campaign. Some may blame the increasingly radical politics and tactics of certain Democrats.

Americans know better, even if Trump doesn’t

We native-born Americans — most of us, anyway — have no real concept of life under a despot except from what we read. We have been raised on a daily diet of liberty and cut our teeth on the right to free speech. Because of that, it’s not surprising that our appreciation for these cornerstones of our democratic and civil society may sometimes dull. 

That’s why Donald Trump’s continued attacks on the press as the enemy of the people should be treated by all as an assault on core American values. No one thinks Trump will ever become a maniacal totalitarian, but knowingly or unknowingly he’s using their tactics in ways that could damage what most of us hold dear. That’s more than just a little troubling.

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