Opinion Outpost Oct. 18


A new kind of hero

It is standard practice of police departments across the country to honor officers who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in doing their jobs. But a recent ceremony of the Los Angeles Police Department deserves special attention.

For the first time, the department saluted officers who resolved dangerous situations without loss of life — even when their own lives were threatened and use of deadly force would have been justified. At a time of increasing emphasis on the need for successful de-escalation strategies and better training in policing, Los Angeles is right to expand the definition of heroism.

Editorial Board
The Washington Post

Let’s talk about America

The 2016 election is poised to be the most polarized presidential election in our lifetime, deeply split along racial, gender, generational and educational lines. The outcome could leave the balance of power in Washington virtually unchanged and yet simultaneously heighten both parties’ distrust of each other to the level of hysteria.

David N. Wasserman
The New York Times

Thomas Jefferson’s followers called themselves Republicans, but their enemies called them Democrats — just to confuse us today.

Instead of offering a single, cohesive and enduring vision for America, the founders were diverse and squabbling. Instead of offering us an antidote to our divisions, those clashing founders created them.

We often hear pundits declare that our politics have never been more polarized. In fact, politics were even more divided and violent in the era of the founders, when one minister worried that the “parties hate each other as much as the French and English hate” each other in time of war.

… We don’t have to make the sacrifices demanded by a bloody revolutionary war waged against our loyalist neighbors and a mighty overseas empire. We need to preserve our free institutions and values rather than create them in the first place. We have to manage a superpower rather than struggle to endure as a third-rate country in the midst of rival empires.

We honor the founders best by sustaining their debates over core principles of government, rather than by pretending that they resolved everything for us.

Alan Taylor
The New York Times

Twenty-eight years ago, George H. W. Bush was about to choose a running mate of his own. Mr. Trump, was willing to be considered for the second spot on the Republican ticket. Mr. Bush found the thought outlandish and, after reporting the conversation in his diary, promptly forgot about it. The suggestion, the vice president told his 1988 campaign diary, was “strange and unbelievable.”

Now, nearly three decades later, much of America, like the George Bush of 1988, finds the possibility of a Trump administration “strange and unbelievable.” Unlike Mr. Bush, however, we don’t have the luxury of being able to put the New York mogul out of mind.

Jon Meacham
The New York Times

The values that support American democracy are deteriorating. Large numbers of Americans across party lines have lost faith in their democracy, and many will not accept the legitimacy of this election. … But sizable shares on both sides, representing tens of millions of Americans, indicate they would not accept the legitimacy of the next president of the United States. … Americans do not trust each other either.

In our survey, we found that only 31 percent say that “most people can be trusted,” whereas fully 67 percent say “you need to be very careful in dealing with people.”

For all the talk about this election being the most important in our lifetimes, it is critical that political leaders understand that the election itself will not heal the divisions the campaign has revealed. When a large share of the population is unwilling to grant legitimacy to the process of even asking the question, we should not be surprised when they refuse to accept the answer.

Nathaniel Persily
& Jon Cohen
The Washington Post

It is quite dreadful and a showing of the gravest disrespect that, if U.S. intelligence agencies are correct, Russia’s Vladimir Putin has inserted himself into America’s presidential election. And it could not have deeper implications.

If Russia is indeed behind the leaks of the emails of Democratic Party operatives Mr. Putin may have many reasons, as he often does, but the most frightening would be that he views the current American political leadership class as utterly decadent and unworthy of traditional diplomatic norms and boundaries. And, thinks, therefore, it deserves what it gets. Why would he find them decadent — morally hollowed out, unserious? That is the terrible part: because he knows them.

Peggy Noonan
The Wall Street Journal

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