I think the general consensus among Americans is we are sick of politics. That’s nothing new. Talking to tourists from around the world, recently I’ve come to decide it’s not terribly different for them either. Worldwide, we, the common people, agree that politicians are mostly slimy and the game of politics sucks.
Unfortunately when you live in D.C. there is no way to avoid it; you have to be somewhat politically involved, or at least aware. It’s made me feel both better and worse about American politics. Generally I feel that the people who live here are here to make a difference, but I’ve also met enough of them who care more about the politics than the people. For the most part the Capitol Hill crowd is not my cup of tea. I tend to avoid the bars they hang out in and gravitate much more toward the nonprofit folks. But of course, all of us here have at least a couple of friends on the hill. The funny thing is that my political friends get so sick of it all that they kind of shut down about it when they are able.
I was chatting with a speech writer for a popular congresswoman at a BBQ a while back. His response: “Ugh. I don’t want to talk about work.” In fact, lately when I’ve been to parties with non-artsy people, I find myself talking a whole lot about art. The other night I found myself literally talking AT a crowd of people about theatre. When I realized this, I got so embarrassed that I kinda stopped in mid-sentence to apologize. One of the girls replied something like “No, it’s great, keep going. We are so used to hearing about politics, it’s so great to hear about something different.”
But now is the calm before the storm. Summer was slow, and now half the town is either at the DNC or on the road. I was not living in D.C. during the last presidential election. In fact, one of my first experiences in D.C. was Obama’s inauguration. So I’m curious. I’m curious to see if this town gets exciting, I’m curious to see if people will want to talk about their jobs and their candidates. So my hope is to continue posting over the next two months about the energy in the city. I’ll letcha know.