Ron Fournier
Ron Fournier is the associate publisher of Crain’s Detroit Business and a former senior political columnist at National Journal. He is the author of Love That Boy: What Two Presidents, Eight Road Trips, and My Son Taught Me About a Parent’s Expectations.
  • Carolyn Kaster / AP

    Why the Republican Convention Is So Mean

    Both parties are trying to convince undecided voters that their candidate is the lesser of two evils.

  • Matt Rourke / AP

    The Republicans' Disastrous Day One

    The Trump campaign botched the vice-presidential rollout, insulted a key state’s popular governor, saw chaos erupt on the convention floor, and ended with a plagiarism scandal.

  • John Sommers II / Reuters

    The Candidate of Calamity

    Donald Trump seems determined not to calm racial strife—but to exploit it.

  • Charles Mostoller / Reuters

    Hillary Has No One to Blame but Herself

    Despite all the advantages she enjoys, the Democratic candidate could lose the election in November.

  • Brian Snyder / Reuters

    Betting on Trump

    An unexpected conversation about the presidential election with two voters from Flint, Michigan.

  • Eric Gay / AP

    The Need for Gentle Leaders in Brutal Times

    Dallas Police Chief David Brown, the trauma surgeon Brian Williams, and President Barack Obama offered much-needed encouragement in the wake of the Dallas police shootings.

  • Paul J. Richards / Getty

    A Pledge I Can't Keep

    In support of women in leadership and media, I’ve taken a pledge not to appear on all-male panels. Mostly.

  • Eduardo Munoz / Reuters

    Trump According to Trump

    By his own standards of evidence, the Republican frontrunner is guilty of some pretty sordid stuff.

  • Chris O'Meara / AP

    A Victory Lap in Blood

    Forty-nine people die in Orlando, Florida, and Donald Trump wants a pat on the back.

  • Julie Jacobsom / AP

    Hillary Clinton's Truth Problem

    The presumptive Democratic nominee learned long ago that public trust is a precious resource. Has she forgotten?

  • Brynn Anderson / AP

    Looking Beyond November

    It’s easier to ask short-sighted questions about the election than it is to grapple with the big picture.

  • Rich Pedroncelli / AP

    Trump's Endorsers Can't Disown His Comments

    Party leaders and down-ballot candidates who are backing Trump won’t be able to distance themselves from his racism and bigotry.

  • John Minchillo / AP

    Judging the Mom Who Let Her Boy Run Away at the Zoo

    After a 4-year-old climbed into a gorilla’s pen, the internet unleashed its fury at his mother, showing a profound lack of empathy.

  • Eric Greenberg

    Where Is All the Autism Funding?

    The federal government requires states to accommodate children on the spectrum, but it provides no financial assistance for them to do so.

  • Lucy Nicholson / Reuters

    The Counterproductive Politicization of Transgender Rights

    It’s possible to get the right policies the wrong way.

  • Cheryl Senter / AP

    It's a Terrible Year for Political Transparency in America

    Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have both been hostile to the idea of sharing information with voters.

  • Danny Johnston / AP

    Hillary Clinton's Faded Footprint in Arkansas

    The state’s longtime first lady is running for president, but few in Little Rock still think of her that way.

  • Chris Pizzello / Invision / AP

    The Presidency Is Not the 'Ultimate Reality Show'

    A slick, commercially sponsored political convention is made for TV. The Oval Office is not. But Donald Trump adviser Paul Manafort doesn’t get it.

  • AJ Mast / AP

    Ted Cruz Deserves Some Credit

    What if more politicians wandered away from their sympathetic crowds to engage directly with people of opposing views?

  • Can’t Help But Love Him

    The book tour has prompted some poignant responses, including this one from a reader who contacted me via a Twitter direct message. She had just watched me on TV:

    You were talking about the time you were too busy working and that you missed out on family time. My 14-year-old son fell off a cliff at YMCA camp in 1987. It never goes away.

    I live a different life now—most days are normal. But, sometimes thoughts pop in and it’s as though not one day has passed. The morning of your interview, I was thinking of the ways I could have been a better mother. I was regretting yelling at him the night before he left for camp because he didn’t do something I told him. We had raised money for him to go to camp, and here I was 28 years later, angry with myself because I had told friends (sort of kiddingly) that I needed a break from him and please donate so I could have a week to myself. I think I used the word, “help me get rid of him.” I cried that morning and basically beat myself up.

    Then I heard you saying similarly themed comments about regrets. I know we know things, but sometimes just need to hear someone else say it. I realized that it’s just because my son is gone, and I can’t take a trip or make it better, but I’m no different than you or any other parents.

    I was a good mom.

    She ended the note with a reference to the post comparing autistic children to dandelions: “I am going to try to plant a dandelion in the kitchen.”

    I had no idea how to respond. With shaking hands, I typed into my IPhone:

    Wow. You just gave me a chill. You got me crying. Please don’t beat yourself up. Great moms need a break from their dang kids—and great moms sometimes outlive their kids. He’s still with you. Hang on to that—and not the guilt. Warmest, Ron.

    I wish I could have done better. I wish I had the words for her. Because she didn’t say her son was autistic, I wasn’t sure at first whether her note belonged in this thread. But it does. We all struggle with the questions haunting that mom: Am I a good parent?