Berry Craig: The well-heeled Rand Paul was not named for Ayn Rand, as has been claimed. But he shares her deep disdain for government programs designed to help the poor, the elderly and the working class.
Rev. Irene Monroe: My ancestors were happy about the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, but they also were prescient about our continued long and arduous journey toward freedom, which is why they passed on to us their talking-book and it’s still talking for us today.
Walter Moss: With House Speaker John Boehner unable to convince uncompromising Republicans to give just a little to avoid the “fiscal cliff,” the lessons that Lincoln, Spielberg, Sandburg, and Kennedy have to offer seem more important than ever.
Manisha Sinha: With its platform that denies even victims of rape and incest access to abortion and blatant attempts at disfranchisement, the GOP appears to be on the wrong side of history.
Berry Craig: Even though some new-Confederates insist the Rebel flag doesn’t reflect racism, the survival of white supremacist thought is exactly what the neo-Confederates are all about.
Steven Conn: The Civil War began 150 years ago, and after four blood-soaked years, the North won the war. But though winners usually write the histories of wars, in the case of the Civil War much of the history was written from the South’s point of view.
Kafi D. Blumenfield: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” This generation of leaders has taken Dr. King’s injunction to heart and they are taking action. They and their peers find common ground by connecting not only through race, gender, sexual orientation or citizenship status, but also, on higher ground, through shared aspirations and hope for the future.
Berry Craig: Paul, who beat moderate Democrat Jack Conway, ran unabashedly as a tea party Republican. In Kentucky and elsewhere, a lot of latter day Johnny Rebs seem to be tea party Republicans.
Bob Letcher: Regardless of who “wins” and who “loses” next Tuesday’s election, can there be any doubt that the results will end the country’s slow downward slide… and send it plunging headlong toward disaster of the sort and scale that the first Republican President, Abraham Lincoln, must have foreseen when he admonished the citizenry, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”
Berry Craig: When Reagan said he was a “states’ rights” guy, “he was elbow deep in the same old race-baiting Southern strategy of Goldwater and Nixon” and “tapping out the code,” Bob Herbert wrote in the New York Times in 2007. “It was understood that when politicians started chirping about ‘states’ rights’ to white people in places like Neshoba County they were saying that when it comes down to you and the blacks, we’re with you. And Reagan meant it.”