Democracy in Action (what, again?)

As Americans prepare for the 2006 election season—mainly by turning off their televisions and hiding in the tool shed until December—what’s needed is a fresh perspective on the coming political storm. As a long-time resident of the nation’s capital, I’m in the perfect position to convey some of the little-known truths about our complicated political process, such as the fact that every member of Congress belongs to a devil-worshipping cult.

See, that’s the kind of information you don’t get from your local newspaper, and not just because the editor is afraid that federally deputized monkeys will fly down and carry him off. No, that only happened once and the government doesn’t do that any more, now that it’s found a better way to keep the media in line: off-the-record interviews given on condition of jail time.

(In another effort to keep Americans separated from politics, the government also constructed the Capital Beltway, a road system designed to ensure that people driving to Washington, D.C., end up in, like, Pittsburgh.)

Fortunately for you, I’m here inside the Beltway, breathing the same air as the politicians, drinking the same water, and experiencing the same stomach cramps immediately afterward (I think they need to change a filter or something).

In this critical election year, I’ll be keeping my “eye on Washington” and reporting about the sights and sounds, the smells and textures of the incumbents’ efforts to remain in power. In fact I’ll cover ALL the senses, if I can just remember that other one.

I’ll look under the dirty fingernails of this powerful nation and report on what I find here, and maybe even take some scrapings to send to the police since I saw that in a movie once, and they caught the killer, just from fingernail scrapings! It was really cool. I would never have thought to do that.

But then, I’m not a forensic scientist. I’m a reporter, keeping my “eye on Washington.”

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Sojourners Magazine February 2006
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