Story Stream
recent articles

Good morning, it’s Friday, Jan. 29, 2021, the day of the week when I reprise a quotation meant to be inspiring or elucidating. Today’s comes from Oprah Winfrey, a woman I have never met, but have long admired from afar. Today is Oprah’s 67th birthday.

First, I’d point you to RCP’s front page, which presents our poll averages, videos, breaking news stories, and aggregated opinion pieces spanning the political spectrum. Today’s lineup includes Matt Taibbi (Substack), Michelle Goldberg (New York Times), and Merrill Matthews (The Hill). We also offer original material from our own reporters, columnists, and contributors:

*  *  *

National Guard’s D.C. Deployment Raises Superspreader Concerns. Susan Crabtree has the story

Bill Hagerty Builds a Post-Trump Enclave in the Senate. Phil Wegmann reports on the Tennessee Republican’s hiring of Trump administration staffers -- a group that’s found it hard to find work with the 45th president out of office. 

Flawed Thinking Behind Biden’s Gun Control Bill. John R. Lott Jr. argues that holding gun makers and sellers liable for misuse of weapons they sell is like being able to sue computer manufacturers for hackers’ crimes.   

Dismiss GameStop Populist Hype. RealClearMarkets editor John Tamny rejects the narrative about a shift of power away from hedge funds and back to the little guy.  

Don’t Fall for Iran Regime’s Nuclear Blackmail. At RealClearEnergy, Alireza Jafarzadeh warns that Tehran has increased its region-destabilizing activities with the intention of coercing rapid concessions from the U.S.  

What Biden Must Learn About Community. Lee Trepanier continues RealClearPolicy’s The American Project by considering what the likely growth of the administrative state under a Democratic president will mean for civic associations. 

It’s Our National Duty to Fight for the Unborn. Also at RCPolicy, Rep. Chip Roy writes that opposition to abortion is rooted in our country’s founding principles. 

Teaching the Moral Foundations of Capitalism, One Student at a Time. At RealClearWire, Mike Sabo highlights the Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism.  

*  *  *

Oprah Winfrey -- television star, best-selling author, entrepreneur, billionaire, international philanthropist, global brand -- has much to be thankful for in life. But here’s the thing: Who should she thank? Yes, she lives in a consistently great country (no matter what Donald Trump or his detractors say), a country of opportunity. And yes, she is a woman who sees the hand of God in human affairs.

Also, she has undeniable natural talents -- and is a born optimist. But she was also born into blinding poverty, abused as a child, and was never gifted with an inheritance or handout. She is a Horatio Alger story come to life. So what made it all possible? What is her greatest gift? My guess is that her frequently professed concern for others is genuine. I think her empathy is palpable and people want to be in its presence.

In 2017, after a madman murdered 60 people and wounded hundreds from a high-rise Las Vegas hotel, Oprah was interviewed on “Entertainment Tonight.” Here is part of what she had to say:

“There’s not a day that goes by where I'm not putting on my shoes, or brushing my teeth, where I just think about the ordinariness of people who just went to a concert, or the ordinariness of the day from people from 9/11, who were just doing an ordinary thing, and then you never get home. … So, I would say that these days of crisis and tragedy are to remind us all to be present in the ordinariness of our lives, that actually turns out to be extraordinary when the person you love doesn't come home at night.
“This is to make us all more awakened about our own life, and the fact that it shows up this way is a horror. But, as I heard someone say, seeing people coming together, helping each other -- whether it’s this crisis we're in or what we saw weeks ago in, in Houston, in Florida, and now in Puerto Rico -- it shows the humanity of us all. So, it's an opportunity to show the best of ourselves, when the worst shows up.

Today, as we confront constant new setbacks in our fight against COVID-19, her wisdom is as fitting now as it was then. And it’s our quote of the week. 

Carl M. Cannon 
Washington Bureau chief, RealClearPolitics
@CarlCannon (Twitter)

Carl M. Cannon is the Washington bureau chief for RealClearPolitics. Reach him on Twitter @CarlCannon.

Show comments Hide Comments