Guest Column

Guest Column

Views of guest columnists are their own. To submit an op-ed for consideration, contact Commentary Editor Samantha Willis at [email protected].


Confederate Christmas ornaments are smaller than statues – but they send the same racist message

By: - December 24, 2019

By Nicole Maurantonio, University of Richmond As Christmas approaches, many families undertake a familiar ritual: an annual sojourn to the attic, basement or closet to pull out a box of treasured ornaments bought, created and collected over years, even generations. Hanging these ornaments on the tree is an opportunity to reconnect with memories of personal […]


When a chief justice reminded senators in an impeachment trial that they were not jurors

By: - December 18, 2019

By Steven Lubet, Northwestern University Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell created a predictable stir when he told Fox News host Sean Hannity that he would structure the impending impeachment trial of President Donald Trump in “total coordination with the White House counsel’s office.” He added, “There will be no difference between the president’s position and […]


Worker rights are returning to Virginia

By: - December 13, 2019

By Kim Bobo Over the last decade, Virginia’s House and Senate Commerce and Labor committees pretty much ignored the labor side of the equation. Ranked the top state for doing business, Virginia is also ranked the worst state for workers. Addressing Virginia’s pitiful labor protections and raising a few core standards is long overdue. A […]


What the Roman senate’s grovelling before emperors explains about GOP senators’ support for Trump

By: - December 12, 2019

By Timothy Joseph  Unhinged leaders, dynastic intrigue, devastation and plunder: For 15 years I have been researching and teaching the ancient historian Tacitus’ works on the history of the Roman Empire. It has rarely been difficult to find echoes of the history he describes in current events. I’m not the first person to make this […]


Reader response: Biomass continues to be an important energy source for the commonwealth

By: - December 11, 2019

By Kyle Shreve  Biomass remains a renewable energy source that continues to be an integral part of Virginia’s energy solution. This biproduct of the forestry industry produced nearly 7 percent of Virginia’s energy in 2018 according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. However, a commentary recently published in the Virginia Mercury contains assertions regarding biomass […]


Quest for a quick fix on surprise medical bills could make problem worse

By: - December 10, 2019

By Harry Gewanter, MD Believe it or not, there is a rare oasis of agreement in Washington, D.C.: Everyone wants to do something to stop so-called “surprise” medical bills. But, since nothing is simple in Washington (or with health care), the quest for a quick fix brings potential risks of making the problem worse. The […]


On redistricting reform, Democrats must not yield to temptation

By: - December 2, 2019

By Bobby Vassar In Virginia, and across the country, the Democratic Party is currently wrangling over a consequential issue — and it’s not about impeachment or the 2020 presidential candidates. It’s what to do about gerrymandering. I have long believed in comprehensive redistricting reform in Virginia, and have admired the work of many organizations working […]


An unaccountable Donald Trump is dangerous in the extreme

By: - November 28, 2019

By Jay Bookman Donald J. Trump used the power of his office to blackmail a foreign ally into undermining a political foe here at home. Nothing in U.S history approaches that abuse of presidential power, yet the gravity of the charges apparently does not matter. The overwhelming evidence proving those charges – the sworn testimony, […]


How to bridge the political divide at the holiday dinner table

By: - November 27, 2019

By Andrew J. Hoffman, University of Michigan We are a divided nation; that is an understatement. What’s more, we increasingly hear we are living in our own “bubble” or echo chamber that differing views cannot penetrate. To correct the problem, many are calling for people to reach out, to talk and above all, to listen. […]


Americans bankrupted by health care costs: four questions answered

By: - November 26, 2019

By Simon F. Haeder Medical bankruptcy has been a talking point for many Democratic candidates as they make their individual cases for health care reform. This begs a few questions about how widespread these bankruptcies are and what causes them. 1. How big a problem is medical bankruptcy? Medical bankruptcy, which refers to situations where individuals […]


Proposed asylum fees are part of a bid to make immigrants fund their own red tape

By: - November 22, 2019

By Sarah R. Sherman-Stokes The Trump administration wants to make people fleeing persecution in their home countries pay for something they’ve long gotten for free: the right to apply for asylum in the United States. As an immigration attorney and a law professor who has represented people seeking asylum for over a decade, I believe this change, which […]


The proposed Cumberland County mega-landfill will threaten children’s health

By: - November 12, 2019

By Irène Mathieu, MD As a pediatrician in Central Virginia, I see evidence of how environmental contamination can threaten children’s health, which is why I am opposing the Green Ridge mega-landfill that has been proposed in Cumberland County. Every day in my clinic, I encounter children with severe asthma or babies who struggle to develop normally […]