Five Best Thursday Columns

Ezra Klein on Obama and Romney's differences, Matt Miller on Romney's audacity, Karen L. Cox on being gay in the South, Sudhir Venkatesh on guns and gangs, and Chloe Angyal on the contraception debate.

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Ezra Klein in Bloomberg View on Obama and Romney's real differences "It’s kind of boring to think of yourself as having a set of technocratic disagreements with the opposition," Klein writes. "Yet, for the most part, that’s what this U.S. presidential election is about." Obama and Romney mostly agree on the purpose of the government, from redistribution to taxes. It's technicalities where they disagree.

Matt Miller in The Washington Post on Romney's audacity Romney was bold last night on regulation, health care, and taxes, sounding reasonable and principled. "If he wins, of course, Romney and his advisers will be hailed as geniuses for their timing, for bonding the party faithful to the ticket with the choice of Paul Ryan and a conservative-themed convention, and then dashing to the center for the home stretch."

Karen L. Cox in The New York Times on being gay in the South People assume the South is a hotbed for LGBT hate. But Cox, a lesbian who has lived in the South all her life, writes that "there are gays living in the rural South who don’t all set out for the big city. They lead rich lives and have families, and sometimes even communities, that love them and accept them for who they are."

Sudhir Venkatesh in The New York Times on guns, gangs, and youth The former FBI violent crime adviser writes about the biggest problems with guns, gangs, and the youth: One, the young men don't know how to use the guns, Two, there is little support for mediation programs rather than arrests. Three, authorities don't understand how guns change hands, and some 40 percent come from family members.

Chloe Angyal in The Guardian on the one word missing from the contraception debate When talking contraception and abortion, politicians and activists avoid one word: sex. Democrats and Republicans talk about mothers and rape victims. They don't talk about the women who are looking to have sex for pleasure. "Those millions of women get left out of this crucial conversation: their experiences obscured and stigmatized."

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