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Jason Grumet: Whatever happened Tuesday, democracy is damaged, but not yet broken

The nation’s view of our democracy has always been a unique contradiction of cheering, wailing and disinterest. The shining city on the hill is also a swampy snake pit. The world’s greatest deliberative body is hopelessly corrupt, and the land of opportunity is completely rigged. While opinions vary, the dominant sentiment these days is understandably bleak. According to a recent bipartisan poll, half the country believes we are in “real danger of becoming a nondemocratic, authoritarian country,” and over two-thirds of respondents believe democracy is growing weaker by the day. The more optimistic view points to the numerous crises we’ve weathered over the past two centuries and maintains an abiding belief that the structure of the democracy is essentially self-correcting. Public sentiments careen left, right, bold, fearful, populist, elitist, inclusive and uncharitable, yet somehow our democratic society serves as ballast that keeps us afloat despite churning seas.

Randall D. Eliason: Buckle up. The Mueller investigation may once again take center stage.

When it comes to news from the office of the special counsel, it has been a quiet couple of months. It appears Robert Mueller has been abiding by the unwritten Justice Department policy of avoiding significant moves in political cases during the two months leading up to an election. Other events, such as the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, have consumed the public’s attention. But after Tuesday’s election, the Mueller investigation may once again take center stage. Of course, the lull in public action doesn’t mean Mueller and his team have been sitting on their hands. But because grand jury investigations are secret, little is known about what might be happening. The press and public are left trying to glean information from witnesses who have testified or from obscure court-docket entries with titles like “In re Sealed Case.” But with the election behind us, we soon may be able to rely on more than just speculation.

Robert J. Samuelson: A wasted campaign?

We’ll know soon who won the fiercely contested midterm elections, but we already know who lost: We all did. What’s been missing is any realistic engagement with the difficult issues facing the country.

Christine M. Flowers: Anchor babies away? Why Trump shouldn’t mess with birthright citizenship

Whenever I talk about immigration matters, I try not to let people see that tattoo on my forehead, the one with the Statue of Liberty wrapped in a copy of the 14th Amendment. It’s a conversation killer. But there’s no avoiding the fact that my day job has a strong influence on the way I view President Trump’s announced intent to get rid of birthright citizenship, something which has been fairly settled law for over a century.

Put on your athleisure and go to the polls

Kids these days. Sure, we’ve spent the past year Instagramming our “self-care” regimens and writing Medium posts about CBD, but we had finally begun to get some sympathy from our skeptical elders: Our student debt is bad, our long-term economic prospects worse, and the climate of the planet is probably going to self-destruct just as we enter what should be our safe middle age.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan: Saudi Arabia still has many questions to answer about Khashoggi’s killing

The story is all too familiar: Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist and a family man, entered Saudi Arabia’s Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2 for marriage formalities. No one – not even his fiancee, who was waiting outside the compound – has ever seen him again. Over the course of the past month, Turkey has moved heaven and earth to shed light on all aspects of this case. As a result of our efforts, the world has learned that Khashoggi was killed in cold blood by a death squad, and it has been established that his murder was premeditated.

Robert J. Samuelson: The future of anti-Semitism

I had assumed that my three children, now in their late 20s and early 30s, would grow up in a world where their Jewishness, depending on how much they felt it, would remain mostly a private matter. We were wrong; I was wrong.

Froma Harrop: Forget about cheaper drugs on Trump’s watch

President Trump’s plan for lowering Medicare drug costs is good, even cutting-edge. As Democrats successfully campaign on health care, Trump has come back with a proposal that could save Medicare patients and taxpayers $17.2 billion over five years. Too bad its chances of happening are close to nil. We’ve seen this talkie before. As Election Day approaches, Trump makes a promise that seems to favor the public over big-money interests. The moment the last vote is counted, it vanishes.

Max Boot: What is happening to our country?

I am so sad. I am so heartbroken. What is happening to our country? How can we live in an America where a gunman can barge into a synagogue and open fire, reportedly screaming “All Jews must die”?

Kathleen Parker: 2018 midterms: He vs. she

Slowly but inevitably, the two major political parties have become the party of women and the party of men – guess which is which – so that the 2018 midterms are shaping up as a climactic battle in the war between the sexes.

Michael Hiltzik: Mitch McConnell says it out loud: Republicans are gunning for Social Security, Medicare and Obamacare next

All Washington seems to be buzzing over a single question: Is Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., deliberately trying to throw the election to the Democrats? At the root of the debate are interviews the Senate majority leader gave to Bloomberg and Reuters last week. McConnell identified “entitlements” – that’s Washington code for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid – as “the real drivers of the debt” and called for them to be adjusted “to the demographics of the future.”