The toxicity of social media, COVID hypocrites and other top opinion columns of the week

·6 min read

In today's fast-paced news environment, it can be hard to keep up. For your weekend reading, we've started in-case-you-missed-it compilations of some of the week's top USA TODAY Opinion pieces. As always, thanks for reading, and for your feedback.

— USA TODAY Opinion editors

1. I grew up 'under a rock': My parents banned social media until I was 17. I'm glad they did.

By Theresa Olohan

"I didn’t know at the time what a blessing it was to enjoy a childhood free of the constraints, anxiety and sadness social media often brings. Uninhibited by the expectations and consuming nature of social media, I had more time for real, in-person, screenless interaction. I had more time to spend doing the nerdy things I loved – like rereading "Anne of Green Gables" for the 10th time."

2. 'The View' live COVID reveal of co-hosts is latest example of media elites thinking rules don't apply

Tim Swarens

"On Sunday, West Coast elites gathered to award themselves trophies at the Emmys. Several hundred celebrities, not wearing masks, shuffled inside a tent where they sat toasting each other's brilliance for several hours. After actor Seth Rogen pointed out the hypocrisy of his peers' "we're above it all" behavior, the show's producers blasted him for going off script. They also noted that the guests had to show proof of vaccination before they were allowed inside for the awards ceremony."

3. Reps. Tlaib and Omar: Democrats must be bold to save America from Republican attacks

By Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Brooke Adams

"In the northern suburbs of Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District, we are canvassing on Medicare for All. We’re doing this to connect with people about the material issues that impact them every day. We’re not asking them to vote for us; we’re not asking them whether they like us; we’re asking them to imagine a better world – a world in which they don’t have to worry about how they’ll pay for their doctor or about losing coverage if they lose their job."

Mike Thompson, USA TODAY
Mike Thompson, USA TODAY

4. Caitlyn Jenner: I will work with Republican leaders to fight for the conservative movement

By Caitlyn Jenner

"As I traveled up and down the state meeting with Californians from all walks of life and listening to their stories, I was reminded of why I first came to the state 48 years ago to chase my California dream. I came to this state because I wanted to surround myself with the most talented athletes in the world and train with the best coaches available. On my campaign, I surrounded myself with truly good and decent people who wanted to restore the luster of the Golden State."

5. My husband died fighting wildfires. I feel enormous responsibility to help firefighters.

By Michelle Hart

"On May 24, I received the phone call every firefighter’s spouse dreads and hopes will never come. My husband, Tim Hart, a smokejumper out of West Yellowstone, Montana, was being airlifted to a hospital after a hard landing while parachuting into a wildfire in southern New Mexico. In a daze, I traveled to the intensive care unit in El Paso, Texas, and spent the next nine days making life-altering decisions for both of us. I was grappling with emotions that changed my life, my outlook on the future, and fundamentally who I am."

6. Not above the law: Supreme Court can protect citizens by striking down qualified immunity

By The Editorial Board

"Reform of qualified immunity is key to holding police officers responsible for misdeeds on the job. Cops can kill, rape and steal and never face accountability in civil court as long as the Supreme Court continues to enforce this misguided legal doctrine. Fortunately, the court has several cases before the justices that offer the chance to reshape qualified immunity or to abolish it and related rulings that give federal officers even stronger protection from civil suits."

7. Here's a tip: Stop dueling with people who disappoint you, move on and take deep breaths

By Connie Schultz

"Recently, my doctor described with alarming accuracy the amount of stress I was holding onto every day. The body tells its own stories. As an asthmatic, I’ve long been aware of the value of a deep breath. But like too many things I do, I had turned even that basic need into homework during the pandemic. Breathe in 1-2-3-4, hold the breath 1-2-3-4, exhale 1-2-3-4 ..."

Mike Thompson, USA TODAY
Mike Thompson, USA TODAY

8. Hey Democrats! Enough anarchy. Act like Republicans and get moving on Biden's big plans.

By Jill Lawrence

"Republicans have factions, but when it matters most, they are team players. This week, with giant infrastructure and social spending packages at stake, Democrats need to suppress their anarchic impulses and act more like the GOP. It is a fateful moment in Biden’s presidency and in the lives of all Americans. I’m talking to you, normal people. Maybe you’re bored or disgusted by politics, or too busy to pay attention. But this week really matters for your family’s health, finances and dreams."

9. Colleges and universities owe Black people restitution. It’s long past time to pay.

By Stefan M. Bradley

"Acknowledgment was a first step. From there, the university set about officially studying its relationship to slavery with the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice. Then, Brown memorialized the university’s tragic role with a monument erected on campus. Financial recompense for those families of descendants who were harmed is the logical next step."

10. Cut Biden's $3.5 trillion plan: Don't make the perfect the enemy of America and its kids

By The Editorial Board

"To be sure, Biden has proposed in this 10-year package so many other programs and so much more spending. The legislation also would expand Obamacare ($200 billion), affordable housing ($318 billion) and Medicare ($550 billion). And it would create free community college ($109 billion). Democrats could fight over all of it and pass nothing. Or they could act with discretion and still achieve several of the most important social changes in half a century. We urge discretion."

Opposing view: For America's sake, we can't afford to cut $3.5 trillion spending plan

By Bernie Sanders

"This reconciliation bill is being opposed by every Republican in Congress as well as the drug companies, the insurance companies, the fossil fuel industry and the billionaire class. They want to maintain the status quo in which the rich get richer while ordinary Americans continue to struggle to make ends meet. Well, I disagree. Now is the time, finally, for Congress to stand up for working families and have the courage to take on the big money interests and wealthy campaign contributors who have so much power over the economic and political life of our country."

You can read diverse opinions from our Board of Contributors and other writers on the Opinion front page, on Twitter @usatodayopinion and in our daily Opinion newsletter. To respond to a column, submit a comment to

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Social media, COVID-19, Biden's plan and Bernie Sanders: Top columns

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