The Opinions Essay

Latest Essays
Edel Rodriguez for The Washington Post
Edel Rodriguez for The Washington Post

The reach of authoritarian repression is growing. Now, not even exile is safe.

In the age of interconnected technology, living abroad is no guarantee of freedom to dissent.
  • Feb 3

Trump’s new reality: Ex-president, private citizen and, perhaps, criminal defendant

The stark lesson of the last four years is that the failure to hold a president to account only leads to more conduct for which the president should be held to account.

Trump didn’t build his border wall with steel. He built it out of paper.

The country’s immigration infrastructure may remain crippled long after Trump leaves office.

The pandemic upended the present. But it’s given us a chance to remake the future.

Human agency will decide whether the post-virus world is one of chaos, cold war or cooperation.

Nobody can predict this election. Here’s why.

By almost any measure, the 2020 election is an outlier.

Nuclear bombs are the hideous guard dogs that have kept the peace. We must learn to live with them.

The doomsday devices cured the insanity of industrial war by replacing it with another brand of madness, predicated on mutually assured destruction.

Anthony Fauci built a 40-year truce. Now war is coming.

One man, six presidents and the fragile truce between politics and science.

He’s spent over 800 days in solitary in Turkey. His art offers a glimpse at prison’s darkness.

He has only a basic ballpoint pen and letter-size sheets of paper.
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More Opinions Features
(Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)
(Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

Trump lost, but he won millions of new voters. Where did they come from?

Despite losing to Joe Biden, the president found votes in some surprising places. Future Republican candidates should pay attention.

Antidote for a Groundhog Year

Is the new year feeling like more of the same? Here's a pick-me-up.

Washington Post Opinions: 2020 in review

The year according to the Opinions staff: Best cartoons, opinion videos, op-eds and letters to the editor; culture picks; and good news.
  • Dec 18

Our favorite Washington Post video op-eds of 2020

The coronavirus took away our shared public spaces where we might have met someone whose life we could only imagine. Here are some of the perspectives we needed to see and hear to understand.
  • Dec 18

Our favorite Opinions visual essays and projects of 2020

These are some of our favorites of the past year.
  • Dec 18

The fable of Trumpocchio: How Trump won the election that he lost

Trump actually won the election. Here's how.

Biden’s voter margin in key states wouldn’t fill the Rose Bowl. That will affect how he governs.

Biden scored a decent popular vote win — but his margins in the key states were narrow. That should come as no surprise in our era of close elections.

Trump’s lame-duck temper tantrums, illustrated

A behind-the-scenes look at the moments after President Trump declared himself the winner of the 2020 election.

A World War II veteran’s timeless words for his son — and his country

Dad’s letter from Germany is the best recitation of American values and guide for living a truly good life as anything I have ever read.
  • Nov 10

The descent of Trump

Editorial cartoonist Ann Telnaes tracks the downward trajectory of Trump, starting with his Trump Tower escalator ride.
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From the Archives

How our democracy has made dependency a right

Progressives want to dilute the concept of individualism, but that’s antithetical to America’s premise.

Want to build a far-right movement? Spain’s Vox party shows how.

Vox blazed across the Internet, dividing its country. Now it’s in parliament.

The strongmen strike back

Authoritarianism has reemerged as the greatest threat to the liberal democratic world — a profound ideological, as well as strategic, challenge. And we have no idea how to confront it.

Iran has reinvented the hostage crisis, 40 years later

Taking hostages has become a tool of diplomacy.

Jamal Khashoggi: A missing voice, a growing chorus

The quests that animated the Saudi journalist’s life cannot be so easily defeated.
  • Sep 30, 2019

China tried to erase the memory of Tiananmen Square. But its legacy lives on.

Three decades after the crackdown, Beijing is still terrified of the movement and what it stood for.
  • May 30, 2019

As brands keep wading in, it’s time to ask: Is Pride for sale?

Pride celebrations and the corporations that sponsor them are deeply intertwined, with far-reaching consequences.
  • Jun 21, 2019

Voices of the Movement podcast: Stories from civil rights leaders who changed America

A collection of memories from the past and lessons for the future from the people who lived through the movement, as told through a nine-episode podcast series.

‘If you don’t get at that rot, you just get more officers like Josh Hastings’

The shooting of 15-year-old Bobby Moore revealed a horror show of misconduct, cover-up and cascading institutional failure at the Little Rock Police Department.
  • Nov 2, 2018

She reported her rape. Her hometown turned against her. Can justice ever be served?

Twelve years later, past and present residents of Arlington, Tex., are still reckoning with Amber Wyatt’s story.
  • Sep 19, 2018

Trump’s travel ban is tearing couples apart: ‘My entire life has been put on hold’

One is American. The other is Iranian. This short film shows what happens when the U.S. government keeps you from your spouse.

Gun reforms can save lives. Science proves it.

Those who oppose reforms say nothing can be done. That’s demonstrably wrong.

The tweets, statements and speeches that defined Trump’s first year as president

We present the highlights: Year One of the Trump administration, as told by those who are (or were) part of it.
  • Jan 16, 2018

The one best idea for ending sexual harassment

We asked 16 leaders what one change could help stop sexual harassment in their fields.
  • Dec 8, 2017

Ken Burns wants ‘The Vietnam War’ to unite America. Can anyone do that under Trump?

When the filmmaker started his new series, he had no idea it would coincide with the most divisive era since Vietnam.
  • Sep 14, 2017

How police censorship shaped Hollywood

The police story is one of the elemental dramas of American popular culture.
  • Oct 24, 2016

Long-form commentary and other features from The Washington Post’s Opinions section.