Articles written by Lee Hamilton

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 By Lee Hamilton    Opinion    May 3, 2017

A president struggling to get on track

I have significant differences with Donald Trump’s political stances, but I want him to enjoy a successful presidency. It’s good for neither the country nor the world when a U.S. president struggles or fails. Yet I also believe that constructive...

 
 By Lee Hamilton    Opinion    March 22, 2017

In praise of pragmatism

As you watch the healthcare proceedings on Capitol Hill, imagine what things might be like if we lived in more functional political times. In particular, what if Congress were run by pragmatists? It would not change the issues at hand. On the one...

 

The threats to our representative democracy

With so much turmoil in Washington and around the country these days, it’s easy to get caught up in the crises of the moment. These are, indeed, worth our attention — but so are longer-running developments that threaten the health of our...

 

Our system comes with no guarantees

There are a lot of dire predictions about our representative democracy out there. We’re just past a presidential election campaign in which candidates complained about a rigged political system. Now, commentators worry about the imminent failure...

 

Want to govern effectively, Mr. Trump?

As Mario Cuomo said, politicians campaign in poetry but have to govern in prose. Now we have a president-elect who campaigned in tweets ... but still will have to govern in prose. Donald Trump showed great skill as a campaigner, steering his...

 

Even voting is at issue in this election

One of the more intriguing aspects of this unusual election year is the extent to which the underpinning of the election itself — voting — has become an issue in its own right. An act that we used to take for granted is increasingly being called...

 
 By Lee Hamilton    Opinion    June 29, 2016

For those eligible, voting should be easy

The elections process is not usually grist for inflammatory rhetoric. But this year has been different. Republican Donald Trump labeled the GOP primary process “crooked.” Democrat Bernie Sanders suggested his party’s use of super-delegates...

 
 By Lee Hamilton    Opinion    June 15, 2016

What it takes to be an effective citizen

It’s so easy in a presidential election year to forget that our system is not about a single person. This year especially, when the dynamics of the presidential contest have dominated news coverage so thoroughly that even the Senate and House...

 
 By Lee Hamilton    Opinion    March 30, 2016

Standing with Belgium: Attacks show necessity for plan to defeat ISIS

Last Tuesday, the world was again horrified by coordinated terrorist attacks at the airport and subway in Brussels, Belgium. Dozens of people lost their lives, and many more were injured. Even before they took official responsibility, there was...

 
 By Lee Hamilton    Opinion    March 16, 2016

Water storage solutions needed to reduce threat of drought

Hot summers, several years of low snowpack, and the severity of recent drought across the West illustrate the extent to which water is truly the lifeblood of Central Washington and our economy. Unlike the west side of the Cascades, the “rain...

 

You know who I feel sorry for? Today's politicians.

You’ll laugh at this, but hear me out. This is a very tough time to be a politician — whether running for office or trying to lead while holding office. The women and men who’ve undertaken to represent us face circumstances that make...

 
 By Lee Hamilton    Opinion    May 23, 2012

Is this really the best we can do?

As you undoubtedly know if you pay attention to national affairs, the United States faces a perfect fiscal storm at the end of this year. A confluence of deadlines and policy triggers unlike anything I can remember in a half-century of public life...

 
 By Lee Hamilton    Opinion    March 21, 2012

It’s Not Just Congress: Citizens also have room to improve

As a member of Congress, you get used to being graded. Interest groups send you questionnaires, check your voting record, and then issue their “report cards.” Editorial writers opine freely on your performance. Pollsters issue monthly updates on...