Five Best Thursday Columns

E.J. Dionne Jr. on the right wing, Amy Sullivan on Mourdock, Richard H. Thaler on entrepreneur safety nets, Greg Lukianoff on free speech at college, and Pete Early on the mentally ill.

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E.J. Dionne Jr. in The Washington Post on how the right wing lost in 2012 "Mitt Romney would not be throwing virtually all of his past positions overboard if he thought the nation were ready to endorse the full-throated conservatism he embraced to win the Republican nomination," Dionne writes. "A movement that won the 2010 elections with a bang is trying to triumph just two years later on the basis of a whimper."

Amy Sullivan in The New Republic on how liberals are misreading Mourdock Liberals should not have been shocked when Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock said conception from rape is something God intended. What did people think would be the reasoning for opposing abortion in rape cases? "If Mourdock believes that God creates all life and that to end a life created by God is murder, then all abortion is murder, regardless of the circumstances in which a pregnancy came about."

Richard H. Thaler in Bloomberg View on how safety nets for entrepreneurs Mitt Romney stresses that lowering tax rates for high earners will stimulate startups. But the typical startup starts with a low amount of borrowed or saved funds and is more worried about losing healthcare than earning millions. To ignite startups, "we should concentrate on what will happen to them in the all-too-likely event that their brilliant idea doesn’t pan out and the new venture flops."

Greg Lukianoff in The New York Times on the lack of free speech at college "Colleges and universities are supposed to be bastions of unbridled inquiry and expression, but they probably do as much to repress free speech as any other institution in young people’s lives." Political correctness means stringent codes that, outside of the ivory tower, would violate free speech, and students won't learn how to navigate democracy if they have to think twice before speaking.

Pete Early in The Washington Post the campaigns' ignorance of the mentally ill On gun control, Obama said guns must be kept out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill. "The president’s reference smeared a lot of innocent Americans," Early writes. "The majority of Americans diagnosed with mental disorders are not dangerous." Instead of typecasting them, Obama should be work to protect the public by helping the mentally ill recover.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.