The Opinions Essay

Latest Essays
(Tony Luong/FTWP)
(Tony Luong/FTWP)

She was paid to stay off drugs. Here’s why this approach could help others.

A treatment known as “contingency management” has been shown to help people abstain from highly addictive drugs. So why is it vastly underused?

Consent is not enough. We need a new sexual ethic.

Our consent-first culture has left us liberated – and miserable. Here’s how to fix it.

Disease took my brother. Our health-care system added to his ordeal.

One family's struggle with cascading medical bills and a system determined to make it harder.

Biden doesn’t want to change China. He wants to beat it.

To the surprise of many in Washington and Beijing, Biden adopts a more aggressive posture with China.
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More Opinions Features
(Sergio Peçanha/The Washington Post)
(Sergio Peçanha/The Washington Post)

How 1 million covid deaths compares to other tragedies in U.S. history

1 million people in the United States have died of covid-19. Here's how to visualize that staggering loss.

Student debt, book bans and beach bods: 6 audio essays read by the authors

This collection of audio stories covers topics such as the lack of compassion in the student debt debate and what it takes to raise a feminist daughter.
  • May 6

Bring Them Home

An intimate short documentary about the growing crisis of Americans held hostage by foreign governments, "Bring Them Home" follows one family's desperate effort to free their loved one from being a geopolitical pawn.

As the pandemic exploded, a researcher saw the danger. China’s leaders kept silent.

The episode underscores once again why a serious investigation is needed to get to the bottom of how the pandemic began.

Kids can handle learning about civil rights. So teach them.

Uncomfortable questions should be encouraged, not legislated away.
  • Apr 18

George Will’s 2022 Opening Day Quiz

It's that time of year once again. Take Will's annual baseball quiz.

What if every man in your life had to go to war?

The war in Ukraine is a reminder of how easily toxic masculinity still could drag us all to savagery.

The language of the Ukraine war, why covid feels ‘over’ to some | 5 audio essays read by the author

This collection of audio stories covers topics such as America's broken health-care system and parenting.
  • Mar 17

Love, war and two cats — What fleeing Kyiv looked like for us

As we started driving from Kyiv, we saw warplanes in the sky and it smelled like burning. “The war is already here. Is this my country?”
  • Mar 1

5 powerful audio essays read by the author

This collection of audio stories covers topics from the trauma of the Jan. 6 attack to critical race theory in the classroom to the indignities of old age.
  • Feb 18
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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.