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Jim Verhulst - Deputy Editor of Editorials
Here’s what to read from the left and the right | Column
Here’s some interesting commentary from the opposite poles of the political spectrum.
Amnet Ramos, 44, and her daughter, Inaia Hernandez, 12, stand for a portrait during a protest in Manhattan on Saturday, May 14, 2022, in New York where generations of women came together for a protest against the U.S. Supreme Court's anticipated ruling overturning Roe v. Wade. Ramos has protested since the Trump administration, and the threat to abortion rights has steeled her resolve to be heard - and that of her daughter. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
Amnet Ramos, 44, and her daughter, Inaia Hernandez, 12, stand for a portrait during a protest in Manhattan on Saturday, May 14, 2022, in New York where generations of women came together for a protest against the U.S. Supreme Court's anticipated ruling overturning Roe v. Wade. Ramos has protested since the Trump administration, and the threat to abortion rights has steeled her resolve to be heard - and that of her daughter. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E) [ WONG MAYE-E | AP ]
Published May 28

We live in a partisan age, and our news habits can reinforce our own perspectives. Consider this an effort to broaden our collective outlook with essays beyond the range of our typical selections.

FROM THE LEFT

From “Abolishing Birth Control and Gay Marriage Is on the Table,” by Matt Ford in The New Republic at bit.ly/3x69RKr.

The context, from the author: With the Supreme Court poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, and conservatives plotting a sexual counterrevolution, there’s no telling what rights might get abolished next.

The excerpt: My friends and family members know I often write about the Supreme Court, and some of them have asked me what the Supreme Court will do next. Three or four years ago, I would have said, No, these justices aren’t going to come for your birth control or your marriage license or your intimate relationship. I can’t really do that anymore. Maybe they won’t! Maybe Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett will drift toward the line-drawing faction of American legal conservatism. Satisfied with toppling Roe after a 49-year crusade against it, they might turn to other movement priorities like expanding the Second Amendment or strangling federal regulatory power. Or they might not. The court has shifted so far to the right and so quickly that it’s harder to predict what their outer bounds might be. They are certainly not afraid of big, unpopular changes.

From “Fewer Americans Are Identifying as Middle-Class,” by Doug Henwood in Jacobin at bit.ly/3lLcNqd.

The context, from the author: The United States is the country where everyone feels middle class, right? No.

The excerpt: Over the last 20 years, “upper-middle” and “middle” have declined by 8 percentage points and “working” and “lower” have risen by 9 (according to a new Gallup poll). If you start the clock in 2005, the peak of the housing bubble, the “middle” share has fallen by 9 points, with most going into “working.” The Great Recession that followed the bursting of that bubble has a lot to do with that trend, but 10 years of expansion following that miserable downturn did nothing to change middle-class self-identification.

From “School Choice and the False Promise of Parent ‘Empowerment,’” by Peter Greene in The Progressive at bit.ly/3wJlxm8.

The context, from the author: Though school choice is touted as liberating, charter and private schools offer parents less power, not more.

The excerpt: In an unregulated school choice environment, for example, are parents really choosing schools or are the schools choosing which students they want to serve? Modern charter schools have developed a variety of techniques for selecting their student bodies.

FROM THE RIGHT

From “Left-Wing Prosecutors Prepare Plan B on Roe,” by the editors of The National Review at bit.ly/3PEUQrh.

The context, from the authors: Lawless liberals are promising not to enforce abortion restrictions in their states.

The excerpt: What’s happening here is pretty clear. For many decades, when liberals couldn’t get what they wanted passed through the legislative process, they would turn to the courts. This is central to the sinister legacy of Roe. But now that they are losing their stranglehold on the courts, they are turning to prosecutors to impose their policy preferences. Republican legislators who are preparing legislation for the possibility of Roe getting overturned need to take this reality into account.

From “Princeton Finally Fires Katz,” by Rod Dreher in The American Conservative at bit.ly/3sSW2NO.

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The context, from the author: Well, we knew they were going to get Joshua Katz, and the finally did, terminating the (Princeton) classics professor’s employment after 25 years. In a Wall Street Journal op-ed (paywalled), Katz reflects on his mistake in claiming last year that he had survived cancel culture at Princeton, because Princeton president Christopher Eisgruber had publicly conceded that his controversial op-ed was protected speech.

The excerpt: Anybody with two brain cells to rub together knows that if Joshua Katz had not written an op-ed criticizing a totalitarian power grab by racialized Princeton faculty in the Summer of Floyd, he would still be teaching at the university. Princeton’s board might have fired Joshua Katz, but what it has really done is killed its reputation as a place where academic freedom exists.

From “California Policies Are Leaving Us With a Kindness Deficit,” by Kira Davis in RedState at bit.ly/38dQK8z.

The context, from the author: People here in my state of California are saying goodbye to beaches and mountains and insane taxes in droves. Every time I look around a new friend is buying a home in Texas; charity groups (like the Gary Sinise Foundation) are pulling stakes for Tennessee; businesses are looking to land in Florida where the climate is healthier and you can actually keep a lot of the money you earn.

The excerpt: As our carefully coiffed governor likes to brag, California is the fifth largest economy in the world. But that isn’t enough. All that tax money doesn’t add up to prosperity when our policies and politicians consistently drive out the kindest people of California. Our population is large enough so far to tolerate the loss of good businesses, but we will not withstand the loss of so many good people and so much good will. Taxes are easy to come by, generosity is not.

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