Good morning, it’s Tuesday, March 30, 2021. Today is the second day of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s murder trial, the 40th anniversary of the wounding of President Reagan by a would-be assassin, and the date in 1870 when the constitutional amendment granting black men the right to vote took effect. In the Deep South, that guarantee was soon abrogated by an organized system of American apartheid known as “Jim Crow,” a name that is back in the news this year. (Women of all races, of course, would have to wait another half-century for the right to vote in U.S. elections.)
It was also on a March 30, in 1822, that Florida was added as a U.S. territory. Forty-eight years later, Texas, which had seceded over slavery, was readmitted to the Union. My favorite March 30 event in American history occurred 154 years ago when Secretary of State William H. Seward forged the deal to buy Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million. That was considerably more money than it represents today — about $120 million, in a nation with only 36 million people. Still, it was the bargain of the century. That got me thinking this morning: Now that Donald Trump is out of office, can we please buy Greenland? That may have been his best idea.
With that thought, I’d point you to RCP’s front page, which presents our poll averages, videos, breaking news stories, and aggregated opinion pieces spanning the political spectrum. Today’s lineup includes Ruben Navarrette on the U.S.-Mexico border (Daily Beast); Jesse Jackson on Georgia’s new voting law (Chicago Sun-Times); and Salena Zito writing a Pennsylvania comeback story (Washington Examiner). We also offer original material from our own reporters, columnists, and contributors:
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Addressing Migrant Surge May Be Harris’ Crucible. Phil Wegmann explores the vice president’s difficult task, which could impact the outcome of the midterm elections next year — and her White House ambitions down the line.
Voting Rights: Deep Philosophical Divide Underpins Policy Gulf. Susan Crabtree examines the array of concerns animating Democratic efforts to expand voting participation as well as Republican attempts to ensure election integrity.
John Heinz’s Legacy and Pennsylvania’s Political Future. Charles F. McElwee revisits the aftermath of the Republican senator’s death in 1991, which led to changes in the Keystone State that foreshadowed Donald Trump’s rise, and may play out further in 2022.
Virginia Colleges’ Unholy Alliance With China. Ken Cuccinelli and Pete Snyder argue that the Xi regime is seeking to influence American educational institutions by indoctrinating future generations.
FBI Prober Verified Nothing in Steele Dossier. The agent responsible for vetting the controversial document has admitted he could not verify any of its claims, but still pressed for spy warrants on a Trump adviser, Paul Sperry reports for RealClearInvestigations.
A Student Loan Safety Net. At RealClearPolicy, Jason D. Delisle and Preston Cooper spotlight the Income-Driven Repayment program, which already provides relief to distressed borrowers.
Florida and West Virginia Put Students First. At RealClearEducation, Jason Huffman and Skylar Zander applaud education savings account legislation that would allow families to use their share of state per-pupil funding for a variety of educational experiences.
A Novel Solution to Agricultural Pests. At RealClearScience, David Sands highlights developments in biocontrol technology that could help solve Africa’s food security crisis.
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Carl M. Cannon
Washington Bureau chief, RealClearPolitics