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Articles written by Lee Hamilton

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 By Lee Hamilton    Opinion

The fight over voting rights

Call me naïve, but I’ve never quite gotten why some politicians want to limit voters’ ability to cast their ballots. Sure, I know that plenty of people like to flip the classic Clausewitz quote and say that politics is war... — Updated 7/21/2021

 
 By Lee Hamilton    Opinion

Whatever you think of it, we're global

No matter how hard we try, we really can’t avoid one another. We live in a world where what takes place somewhere else on the globe has a very good chance of affecting us. The pandemic, of course, is a perfect example. A virus... — Updated 6/23/2021

 
 By Lee Hamilton    Opinion

Refugees strengthen America

We Americans have long prided ourselves on offering a safe haven to people seeking refuge from conflict and repression. The theme is inscribed on the Statue of Liberty: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses... — Updated 6/2/2021

 
 By Lee Hamilton    Opinion

Why reforming the filibuster matters

As Washington turns its attention to infrastructure and other matters of policy, the Senate filibuster isn’t commanding quite the same headlines as it did a few weeks back. But that’s only because the issue is... — Updated 4/14/2021

 
 By Lee Hamilton    Opinion

Our country rests on people doing the right thing

As the events of the past few months have unfolded, I have often found myself wondering what our Founders would have made of it all. Impossible to know, of course, but they had plenty of insight to offer. In particular, I keep... — Updated 3/3/2021

 
 By Lee Hamilton    Opinion

The path forward

With the handoff of power from one president to another, we enter this new phase of our national life in deep distress. We are polarized, struggling to communicate reasonably with one another, and seemingly unable to find common... — Updated 2/3/2021

 
 By Lee Hamilton    Opinion

What a president-elect must deal with

Joe Biden won’t become President of the United States for a few weeks yet, but it’s fair to say he’s already feeling the pressures of the office. I think being president-elect may be the second hardest job in the world.... — Updated 1/6/2021

 
 By Lee Hamilton    Opinion

It is time to show our resilience

If you pay attention to global affairs, you know that increasing numbers of people believe US leadership in the world is coming to an end and the West more broadly is being eclipsed. I think these predictions are exaggerated,... — Updated 12/23/2020

 
 By Lee Hamilton    Opinion

America's standing in the world

Call it American exceptionalism or not, the American people have always embraced the idea that we live in an exceptional country. We are grateful to be Americans. We take a lot of pride in our country, as we should. Pride and... — Updated 10/21/2020

 
 By Lee Hamilton    Opinion

We're all in this together

We are a nation adrift. Even before the pandemic and George Floyd’s death, the U.S. was piling on problems with little sense that we had either the leadership or the political will to address them. The coronavirus and Black... — Updated 9/2/2020

 
 By Lee Hamilton    Opinion

It's time to learn what our system's about from the inside

I’ve spent a long time in politics, and over those years one thing has remained constant: a lot more Americans criticize government than serve and do something about it. There have been times when I’ve felt a bit resentful.... — Updated 7/22/2020

 
 By Lee Hamilton    Opinion

How do we keep our democracy healthy?

Representative democracy is based on a simple premise. It’s that ordinary citizens can judge complex public policy and political issues — or at least grasp them well enough to decide who should be dealing with them. But the sig... — Updated 11/27/2019

 
 By Lee Hamilton    Opinion

The key to representative democracy? Persuasion

I am lucky enough these days to be in regular touch with young people who are interested in public service. I find hope in their quality, energy, and motivation, and they press me to think more deeply about what it takes to pursue... — Updated 5/29/2019

 
 By Lee Hamilton    Opinion

A more perfect union

You know these words, but how often do you stop to think about them? “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence,... — Updated 8/8/2018

 
 By Lee Hamilton    Opinion

Politics: We need it

Every so often, I jot down a list of the things that discourage me about our country. There’s the widespread disregard for our core values of tolerance and mutual respect, for instance. Or our declining national optimism.... — Updated 6/13/2018

 
 By Lee Hamilton    Opinion

Congress tanks - but does it care?

We’re at a watershed moment in American political history. Our Congress — I’m talking about the people’s body, the institution created by our founders, and not just the men and women who currently inhabit it — is in deep... — Updated 3/21/2018

 
 By Lee Hamilton    Opinion

Debt and taxes

As Republicans in Congress move forward on their tax plan, it’s worth remembering one thing: whatever the legislative particulars, keep your eye on the plan’s impact on the federal debt. Our debt load is already worrisome.... — Updated 11/15/2017

 
 By Lee Hamilton    Opinion

Election reform is about more than fraud

A dozen years ago, the preface to a report on federal election reform began with these words: “Polls indicate that many Americans lack confidence in the electoral system, but the political parties are so divided that serious... — Updated 10/4/2017

 
 By Lee Hamilton    Opinion

Good communication lies at the heart of our democracy

Do ordinary citizens still have a voice in Washington and in their state capitals? Despite the cynicism of these times, my answer is, yes, we do. ... But we have to exercise it. I don’t just mean going to a town hall meeting and... — Updated 8/9/2017

 
 By Lee Hamilton    Opinion

Encourage good media

I’ll be the first to admit that when it comes to journalism, I’m a traditionalist. Old-fashioned, even. But I don’t think it’s a coincidence that even while confidence in the media drops to new lows and Time magazine feels... — Updated 7/12/2017 Full story

 
 By Lee Hamilton    Opinion

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... — Updated 5/3/2017 Full story

 
 By Lee Hamilton    Opinion

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... — Updated 3/22/2017 Full story

 
 By Lee Hamilton    Opinion

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... — Updated 2/22/2017 Full story

 
 By Lee Hamilton    Opinion

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... — Updated 1/11/2017 Full story

 
 By Lee Hamilton    Opinion

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,... — Updated 12/28/2016 Full story

 

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