Saturday, June 23, 2018
Editorials

Another voice: 1918 changed the world — will 2018?

Seers, pundits, gurus and weather forecasters can agree on one big thing: 2018 is going to be a very eventful year, perhaps the most eventful since, oh, 2017. Or maybe since 1918, one century ago, when the Western Front finally went quiet, the guns that could fire a shell as heavy as a small car and obliterate human beings 70 miles away stopped firing, and a new world order began. The First World War, which ended in November of that year, caused the disappearance of empires that had run much of the world — Austrian, Russian, German, Ottoman — and was the beginning of a long demise for others, the British and French most of all.

In the United States, we recoiled from our involvement in the war, though our small, late intervention had probably been the decisive factor, and retreated into not just isolationism but also a nasty sort of xenophobia and racial and ethnic prejudice. That led to sharp reductions in immigration and to previously unthinkable restrictions on U.S. citizens by vigilante organizations and our federal government.

Meanwhile, the country that had seemed to emerge from the Great War as the rising power in the world and had seen itself since the times of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln as a democratic example abandoned major efforts at international involvement and cooperation. As commerce withered in the Great Depression, the country turned to trade protectionism, probably worsening things. In Europe, many countries came under the sway of ethnic nationalism and totalitarian ideologies, which led to horrendous massacres and mass forced migrations, all overseen by authoritarian governments that many U.S. citizens saw as the wave of the future.

A second world war finally convinced this country’s chiefs of our vital role as leader of free nations, a position the United States maintained for over a half-century. Today we seem not so sure. Nationalism is in vogue, fear of the foreign is being cultivated by people in high places, and the United States is abandoning its leading positions in many areas, which newly confident authoritarian regimes are happy to occupy.

November 1918 was a crucial turning point for the world. November 2018, when Americans elect a new Congress and begin to determine whether this discouraging change in direction will be allowed to continue, could well be another.

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Editorial: Handing out gift cards like candy at CareerSource

Editorial: Handing out gift cards like candy at CareerSource

It’s hard to pick the biggest outrage in the financial and ethical swamp that has swallowed Tampa Bay’s two primary job placement agencies, CareerSource Pinellas and CareerSource Tampa Bay. Is it the boiler room atmosphere where CareerSource recruite...
Published: 06/21/18
Updated: 06/22/18

Family separation crisis is not over

The family-separation crisis that President Donald Trump created is not over. The executive order Trump signed Wednesday purporting to end the routine tearing of children from their undocumented parents stands on uncertain legal ground. U.S. border a...
Published: 06/21/18
Updated: 06/22/18
Editorial: State help needed to staff hotlines with veterans helping veterans

Editorial: State help needed to staff hotlines with veterans helping veterans

Veterans can help veterans deal with trauma resulting from military service in a way no one else can. That’s the theory behind a special hotline set up in the Tampa Bay area that proponents are hoping to take statewide.The expansion would cost some $...
Published: 06/21/18
Updated: 06/22/18
Editorial: With Supreme Court ruling, Florida should collect sales tax from online retailers

Editorial: With Supreme Court ruling, Florida should collect sales tax from online retailers

It turns out the U.S. Supreme Court has a better grasp of the economic realities of the 21st century than Congress or the Florida Legislature. The court ruled Thursday that states can require online retailers to collect sales taxes even if the retail...
Published: 06/21/18
Updated: 06/22/18
Editorial: Congress should ban splitting kids, parents

Editorial: Congress should ban splitting kids, parents

The shocking scenes of immigrant children crying after being taken from their parents at the border exposed a new level of cruelty by the Trump administration, and though the president reversed course Wednesday, Congress needs to end the shameful pra...
Published: 06/21/18
Sessions kickstarts action on marijuana

Sessions kickstarts action on marijuana

Good job, Jeff Sessions! It seems the attorney general’s misguided attempts to revive the unpopular and unjust federal war on marijuana may be having the exact opposite effect — prompting a new bipartisan effort in Congress to allow states to legaliz...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/21/18
Editorial: A court victory for protecting Florida’s environment

Editorial: A court victory for protecting Florida’s environment

A Tallahassee judge has affirmed the overwhelming intent of Florida voters by ruling that state lawmakers have failed to comply with a constitutional amendment that is supposed to provide a specific pot of money to buy and preserve endangered lands. ...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/20/18
Editorial: Trump should stop taking children away from parents at the border

Editorial: Trump should stop taking children away from parents at the border

Innocent children should not be used as political pawns. That is exactly what the Trump administration is doing by cruelly prying young children away from their parents as these desperate families cross the Mexican border in search of a safer, better...
Published: 06/17/18
Updated: 06/19/18

Editorial: ATF should get tougher on gun dealers who violate the law

Gun dealers who break the law by turning a blind eye to federal licensing rules are as dangerous to society as people who have no right to a possess a firearm in the first place. Yet a recent report shows that the federal agency responsible for polic...
Published: 06/17/18
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Editorial: Encouraging private citizens to step up on transit

Editorial: Encouraging private citizens to step up on transit

The new grass-roots effort to put a transportation package before Hillsborough County voters in November faces a tough slog. Voters rejected a similar effort in 2010, and another in 2016 by elected officials never made it from the gate. But the lates...
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